Persistent controversies after the closure of the JCC

The discreet resignation of the director of the Carthage Film Days (JCC) last Saturday, followed by the scandalous summons of the Minister of Culture, yesterday Tuesday, by the President of the Republic Kais Saïed, confirm that the discomfort around the festival is deep. .

The 2022 edition of the JCC was no exception to the rule of recent years, where the event was more of a fashion show than a movie week. “jokes Jamel Arfaoui, one of the pioneers of Tunisian journalism, for whom this umpteenth year dominated by entryism was undoubtedly one more iteration. Because when the red carpet and provocative outdoing of guests so overshadow artist charts, it may be time for the entire industry to engage in some critical introspection.

Just a few hours after the closing and awards ceremony, Sonia Chamkhi, director of the 33rd edition of the Carthage Film Days, announced in a laconic statement her “exit” from the director of the prestigious international festival. ” I prefer to go back to my writing and directing activities. “, he argued, without further explanation. But for those who followed the stormy week, this resignation that does not say his name is not a surprise.

What is the name of the JCC?

gay party », « Gay pride », « LGBT parade », « orgy hymn to frivolity and vulgarity », « Hard days “, (reference to a pornographic film festival)… The most virulent qualifiers were not lacking throughout the week on social networks calling daily to “punish those responsible for this exhibitionism”, where other Internet users defend the right of Minorities invited to exhibit. themselves in this way in a event general and mainstream culture.

On the other hand, one problem seems to be unanimous within the profession: the hegemonic place given to “instagramers” and “instagramers”, who steal the limelight from artists, is perceived as a form of decadence in modern cinema, supplanted by a new show business people. Just as the movie industry uses and abuses social media to market its wares but doesn’t take well the shadow cast by influencers, lawmakers face an equally delicate dilemma.

I had considered this year removing the stair climbing component “, the Minister of Culture, Hayet Ketat, justified without conviction, in an interview after her summons by the Palacio de Cartago. But the minister, like the scapegoat director who served him as a convenient “fuse”, undoubtedly knows very well the difficulty of such a decision, which would mean alienating part of the profession, not to mention the lawsuits of moral conservatism.

Procrastination as a solution

Being in charge of the Culture portfolio in 2022 is a dangerous balancing act, between imperative concessions made to dictates” woke up ” Y ” gender fluid of then, and the need to be accountable to the populist presidency of Kais Saïed, an executive power less reactionary than concerned with containing the waves of discontent and other Facebook tolets. Hayet Ketat learned it the hard way, instructed like a mediocre student, by a hyper-presidency with a transversal mandate, which now intends to interfere in all aspects of life, including cultural ones.

As an emergency measure to stop the general disarray, the minister has decided today to return to a biennial, instead of an annual party, which the JCC had become since 2014, and postpone the hot potato of an inextricable social debate that nobody wants to open.

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