Dina Amer’s poignant directorial debut YOU RESEMBLE ME, in Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival and executive produced by Spike Lee, Spike Jonze, Riz Ahmed and Alma Har’el, has been set for theatrical release on 3 February 2023.
Cultural and intergenerational trauma erupt in this story about two sisters on the outskirts of Paris. After the siblings are torn apart, the eldest, Hasna, struggles to find her identity, leading to a choice that shocks the world. Director Dina Amer takes on one of the darkest issues of our time and deconstructs it in an intimate story about family, love, sisterhood, and belonging.
Drawn from true events surrounding the 2015 Paris attacks and over 300 hours of interview footage with Hasna’s real family and inner circle, YOU RESEMBLE ME is a cautionary tale examining some of the possible drivers and roots of religious radicalisation. The award-winning journalist-turned-filmmaker Dina Amer describes her film as
“an invitation to look before and behind the headlines, not for absolute truths or permanent answers, but an insistence on lifting the veils and beginning the conversations that conceal our shared humanity.”
Egyptian-American Amer, who previously garnered praise for investigating the human trafficking of Syrian refugees as well as the underground economy of illegal Egypt-Gaza tunnels, covered the 2015 Paris attacks as an on-air correspondent for VICE News. She helped produce the Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning documentary The Square, which chronicled the Egyptian Revolution from the frontlines.
Amer cast three women to portray Hasna in the film — Mouna Soualem (Oussekine, The Night of the 12th), Sabrina Ouazani (Mica, Close Enemies) and Amer herself, each giving a glimpse in to the women she had tried to become. She explains
“I felt that this was not a story about terrorism, but a story about Hasna being a multi-faceted woman ultimately looking for something we all seek: to feel a sense of belonging and home. The choice of casting three women to portray Hasna took on a deeper resonance when I learned just how fragmented the real Hasna was. I really wanted this film to communicate that disassociation and how we as adults can leave our bodies and shapeshift to survive when there is an overwhelming amount of trauma that is imprinted on us as children.”