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Moroccan-Canadian artist Mehdi Bahmad explores the challenges of growing up as a millennial in a Muslim family, and the broader generational gap in Arab societies, in this beautiful self-directed video. For his track “H.E.N.N.A.”, Bahmad addresses his own difficult relationship with his father through references to henna — a plant his father used to cultivate in the Moroccan desert:

“The bush that ‘grows in paradise’ is very symbolic of the Maghreb and Middle Eastern culture, and especially of female seduction. The plant is considered sacred and the flower would have been, according to the legendary stories of the Koran, the favourite of the prophet Mohammed. By using this strong cultural symbol, Mehdi draws attention away from what his hand discovers, explores and touches. We focus only on the tattoo and forget what he holds. Thus, his family, Muslim society or Arab society in general, can easily find satisfaction and somehow recognize themselves with pride in an action that ultimately may be against their beliefs and values. This is the way found by Mehdi to succeed in living, in fragile balance, with his own believes and his Muslim identity, full of confrontations.”

 

Directed & Conceived by Mehdi Bahmad
Produced by RENAISSANCE
Producer: François Olivier-Gouriou
Cinematographer: Laurent Schraenen
Camera Assistant: Diane Toffano
Gaffer/Grip: Luis Seijas
Artistic Direction: Mehdi Bahmad
Hair & Makeup: Shanti Tang Tremblay
Editor: Mehdi Bahmad
Colorist: Steven Mercier (MELS)
VFX: Nicolas St-Cyr (MELS)

Featured Hands:
Aboudi Hassoune
Kurt Kaulbach
Mathieu Brabant
Philippe Manasseh

Special Thanks:
Post-Moderne Caméras
SLA Location
MELS & Marie-Pier Dupuis

 

This is just one of the many wonderful submissions we’ve received in the past week. Click here if you have a project you’d like us to check out!

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