STUDIO: Koch Lorber Films
MSRP: $26.98
RATED: Unrated
 Interview with Bouzid and Abdelli
 A brief introduction from Peter Scarlet,
     artistic director for the Tribeca Film Festival

The Pitch

Terrorists blow shit up to fight Western Oppression.

The Humans

Lofti Abdelli, Lotfi Dizri, Foued Litaiem and Fatima Ben Saidane

Blurry, shaky and ready to explode.

The Nutshell

Making Of is a realistic look at what is driving young men of North Africa and the Middle East into terrorism. Director Nouri Bouzid wants to create a look at Middle Eastern life via a simple study of some young men in Tunisia. The main focus is on Bahta. Bahta is a young break dancer that just wants to have a shot at following his dream. When Bahta starts to have trouble with the police, he runs into a group of Islamic fundamentalists. A cadre of fellows that have no trouble taking advantage of his distrust of modern society.

I want to dance!

The Lowdown

Most Americans know shit about the interpersonal dynamics behind fundamentalist-based terrorism. Hell, most of them don’t want to believe that a lot of the Jesus and Friends pundits on our side of the fence are just a hair way from similar behaviors. That’s why I appreciate films such as this that help to make the reasoning behind such evil understandable. It’s too easy to demonize others for little to no reason. What we need is an understanding of why people turn. Keep hope alive, keep hope alive.

Making Of opens on a basic introduction to the hero Bahta. Bahta is a local guy that wants to break dance with his friends and just screw around. After a few too many run-ins with the law, he starts having doubts about the way his life is headed. So, he runs into a group of Islamic fundamentalists. Bahta finds a mentor (Lotfi Dziri) who wants him to make the ultimate sacrifice for Allah. He wants Bahta to become a suicide bomber.

The cleanest port in Algiers.

The film doesn’t break into some Greengrass style look into Bahta’s decision. It also doesn’t become a weepy affair. What happens is that we are forced into Bahta’s place, as the mentor and clerics explain why things got the way they are in Tunisia. Then, the crazy starts dropping. Listening to the speeches about how a woman’s clothes can lead to moral decay in a nation are so frighteningly similar to half of the shit that Focus on the Family espouses in media bites that it shakes you to your bones. This wasn’t the director’s direct intention, but cross-over connections are felt throughout the piece.

Terrorism is such a hot button issue that it’s hard to find an even hand to tell a story. But, Making Of offers up something new and fresh. It wants you to feel what it is like to become indoctrinated. I’m not going to ruin the film’s ending, but I will say that it’s earned. Afterwards, you’ll feel a little out of sorts, but the journey is worth the price.

With those kind words, Al-Achmed put on his party hat and grabbed the jar of vaseline. It was time to make Faheed a man.

The Package

Making Of arrives on DVD with not a ton of special features. You get an introduction from the Tribeca Film Festival, as they explain why they chose the film as being significant. There’s also a look at the director and one of the stars of the film. Everything’s interesting, but I could’ve used a commentary track. Oh well, there’s always the double dip.

is pretty strong. The only problem is that some later external scenes get this sick overexposure in the background. Light blasts into frame and the scenes can become washed out. It’s not a major complaint, but one worth noting. The Dolby track is tame and relaxed, like it should be.

In the end, Making Of is
a hard film. But, I recommend that you give it a shot. While it might be a bit pricy to buy, you can always Netflix it. I wish more people took chances on films like this and tried to find something special outside of their comfort zones. I tried it with this film and it was a worthy experience.

It’s also Scantron, so make sure that you completely fill in the bubbles or else the machine won’t read it.

7.4 out of 10