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1h 36m Family Drama, Thriller, Tunisia 2020

Available for rental: Friday, June 25, 2021 @ Noon PDT → Monday, June 28 @ Noon PDT

Join our Closing Zoom Discussion with Le Professeur Kevin Elstob, on Monday, June 28 @ 6:30pm PDT.**
If you purchase the film or the Virtual Festival Pass, you will receive the Zoom invitation. Questions about the discussion? Email

Suggested short film pairing: A Beautiful Afternoon

Tunisia, Summer 2011. Fares (Sami Bouajila, winner of the 2021 César for Best Actor, and also in Red Soil streaming this year at the SFFF), Meriem (Najla Ben Abdallah), and their 10-year old son, Aziz, are on a road trip to Tataouine when their car comes under fire during a terrorist ambush. Aziz is gravely injured.

Aziz needs a liver transplant, and blood tests are ordered to find out which parent would be a better match. The results will reveal new information that will change everything for the family.

A Son is a suspenseful and emotional drama that is also a portrait of Tunisia after the 2011 revolution and Arab Spring: a country still rooted in patriarchy, religious fundamentalism, and corruption, and unsettled by the chaos in neighboring Libya. These conditions only complicate the already difficult task of finding a suitable organ donor. Will it all be too much for Fares and Meriem to overcome?

Not Rated (adult themes, some violence).

Original Title: Un Fils


An intimate and political drama of great power.
Nadia Meflah — Bande à part

(A) remarkable first film, where the melodrama turns to a thriller, in a corrupt and completely disoriented Tunisia.
Christophe Caron — La Voix du Nord

An outstanding piece of filmmaking.
Stephen Romei — The Australian

An exciting debut from a new voice in Arab cinema.
Boyd van Hoeij — The Hollywood Reporter

One of the most exciting movies I’ve seen in quite some time.
Lisa Nesselson — Screen Daily

Not many debuting directors are able to bring subtlety and depth to a heart-rending subject, which is just one reason why Mehdi M. Barsaoui’s superb “A Son” deserves significant attention.
Jay Weissberg — Variety


Mehdi Barsaoui


Mehdi Barsaoui


Arabic, French




Tunisia, France