Akram the Surrealist

Akram the Surrealist
a film by Joe Balass

Fall, 1947. Akram arrives in Paris on a student bursary. He is Iraqi, Jewish, 18 years old and he is instantly seduced by the carnivalesque atmosphere of the city of lights. Coming from Baghdad and its centuries of repression and segregation of women, the young man faces a sexual and emotional awakening. At the Sorbonne, during his weekly French Literature class, he falls madly in love with Yvette. She comes from a conservative family, who disapprove of their affair. France is still haunted by traces of Vichy propaganda, and the deportations that took Jews to nazi death camps. The Paris Akram is discovering is not what he had imagined. The two young lovers escape Yvette’s family and seek refuge within the Parisian Surrealists world and its enchanted burst of artistic exhuberence. In the middle of this meeting between east and decadent west, the young Jew from Baghdad must open his eyes on a new world.

100 minutes, in development.

Script : Naïm Kattan & Joe Balass
Producer : Joe Balass

Naïm Kattan Bio

Born in Baghdad in 1928, Kattan immigrated to Canada in 1954, where he became interested in the country’s intellectual life, quickly integrating into it. Journalist, novelist, essayist and playwright, literary critic, professor and cultural administrator, fervent defender of the French language, he has written hundreds of literary reviews and nearly 50 works on topics such as the diversity of human relations and the coexistence of different cultures. L’amour encore, a collection of short stories is his most recent publication. In 2015, a collection of his theatre plays will be released by the University of Rouen. He is currently working with Joe Balass on the script of Akram the Surrealist.

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