My English Cousin
Dir. by Karim Sayad, Switzerland, Qatar; 2019, 82´
World premiere: Toronto IFF, European premiere – DOK Leipzig, Festival dei Popoli – Gian Paolo Paoli Award
Territories: World except of Switzerland & Morocco; Exclusive subject: Festivals & Sales
2001, Fahed arrives on UK soil overflowing with aspirations and dreams…
2018, in the thrall of a mid-life crisis, he must now make a decision. Will he continue his humble lifestyle working 50-hours weeks between the take-away and the factory, or will he return to Algeria, a country he fled in the hope of making a better life for himself? Two decades later, after marrying, working two jobs to pay the bills, and picking up a distinct Northern English accent, Fahed decides he wants to go back to his place of birth.
Trapped between two countries, Fahed is also between two cultures: one he’s worked to assimilate into and one he nostalgically longs for but can’t, in reality, face.
Category: Portrait, Social issues, POV, Migration, Arabic
“Karim Sayad delivers an intense observation of his antihero’s life, as the latter grapples with the dilemmas which torture his existence; an existence which is slowly losing all meaning.” – Cineuropa, Mariel del Don
“A thoughtful portrait of contemporary migrant life.” – POV, Pat Mullen
“A migration story but from the perspective of someone wanting to go back” – Variety, Interview with KarimSayad
Karim Sayad was born in Lausanne in 1984 to an Algerian father and a Swiss mother. After completing a MA in International Relations, he decided to become a documentary filmmaker. His first short, Babor Casanova, premiered in Locarno in 2016 and it won at DocLisboa, Festival Dei Popoli and in Clermont-Ferrand. Of Sheep and Men, his first feature documentary, premiered at TIFF in 2017 and was shown in numerous festivals. My English Cousin is his second feature documentary.
Director : Karim Sayad
Producer: Joëlle Bertossa
Cinematographer: Patrick Tresch
Screenwriting: Karim Sayad
Editors: Naïma Bachiri
Sound Editor: Clement Maléo