When two sisters are torn apart, the eldest loses her identity and transforms into someone new in the name of belonging and resistance.


Short Synopsis

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.


Director’s Biography

Dina Amer is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist. She helped produce the Oscar nominated and Emmy award-winning documentary THE SQUARE, where the Egyptian Revolution was chronicled from the frontlines. Growing up between the US and Egypt, her work has focused on sharing nuanced, human stories with a global audience. Previous to her film work, Dina was a celebrated journalist. She was an on-air correspondent for VICE, including THE BLACK MARKET Series, where she uncovered the human trafficking of Syrian refugees and explored the underground economy of illegal Egypt-Gaza tunnels. Her written work has been published in The New York Times, CNN and the Huffington Post. YOU RESEMBLE ME is her directorial debut.


Comments of the

Director

As a Muslim Egyptian woman living in the West, I’ve struggled to reconcile pieces of my identity that feel contradictory. I am a woman who has spent the majority of my life praying discreetly in public spaces (airports are the hardest).click to read more

And yet I don’t look like what most of society envisions as a Muslim woman. I don’t wear a hijab and I love Cardi B. Throughout my life I’ve lived through the shadow of how the failure to reconcile a Muslim Western identity with such clear contradictions can result in a haunting headline.


This film is a journey through layers of disassociation, from the personal and familial to the religious and colonial; a kaleidoscope of splintered identities and fractured dreams. YOU RESEMBLE ME explores the unexamined roots of trauma and the devastating decision that one woman made in the name of belonging. The mission of this film is not to excuse her choice but to examine how she arrived at that decision. The intention of this exploration is that it can help inform us as a society how to safeguard other individuals from falling into the same traps.


In the making of the film, I drew from my experience within underserved and marginalized communities; there are so many people who resemble the main character, Hasna. Many people desperately seek a sense of identity, family, direction, and love in all the wrong places, yet some — like Hasna — grab our attention in the worst way when their search goes wrong.


It was not until I spent six months with incarcerated men at Rikers Island prison during a cinema and theater exchange, that I realized I cannot define someone by their worst action, and that every human is worthy of redemption. In seeking to understand Hasna, I saw myself in her humanity and her family saw me in her. Hence, the title, You Resemble Me.


It was important for me to allow the audience an experience where they can put themselves in her shoes and experience her multiplicity and moments of disassociation.I believe at times we can all step outside of who we are and mutate into other versions of ourselves in order to gain a sense of belonging.


I also wanted to maintain the fact that Hasna is a real woman and we will never truly know who she was or how exactly she felt but the best we can do through a fictional lens is to allow women who come from a similar identity as her to step into her shoes and feel the weight of her experience.


The script was written after recording over 300 hours of interviews with Hasna’s real family and inner circle. As a “recovering” journalist, the discovery and writing process became my personal redemption. I had felt the weight of simplifying human lives into headlines to feed diminishing attention spans. But as I spent time with Hasna’s family, Youssef, her brother, said to me: “Very simply, if you want to know why my sister made [the choices she made], it comes down to one thing: it’s this woman’s fault.” And he pointed to his mother. I was stunned because I instantly understood there is a layer to this complicated story that's just about a dysfunctional family.

The film is 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. There are no monsters to slay if we dare to search, discover and unleash the power and promise of sisterhood--the gift Hasna cherished and the only home she ever had.


Main Cast

Biography

Lorenza & Ilonna Grimaudo

Lorenza Grimaudo (14 years old) and Ilonna Grimaudo (10 years old), along with their brother Djino (15 years old), are true artists.


Originally from Marseille, it was in August 2017 that their mother, Nessrine Boukmiche, who sensed early on an artistic energy revolving around her children, decided to move the family to the Paris region. Djino paved the way for his little sisters — hip-hop dancer, child model and actor, he became a role model for Lorenza and Ilonna. However, in April of 2018, devastating news hit the family — their father had passed away at the age of 30. This ordeal would come to strengthen and solidify the bonds of the family. One year later, their mother sent her three children’s applications in response to the casting call for You Resemble Me.


Dina Amer fell in love with Lorenza and Ilonna, two sisters who had obviously never taken acting lessons but who exuded such strength and closeness that the director wanted to see them again. Lorenza, Illona and Djino were cast in You Resemble Me, their first feature film, in which Lorenza and Ilonna have leading roles. The determination but also the values and fundamental principles deep within this family, now leads them to the Venice Film Festival. From an Algerian mother and a Spanish/Italian father, is it a star that watches over them that has led them to Italy?

Mouna Soualem

Mouna Soualem began acting in movies at the age of 11. She played in several features, including Munich by Steven Spielberg (2006), Later You Will Understand by Amos Gitai (2008), Inheritance by Hiam Abbass (2012), You Deserve A Lover by Hafsia Herzi (2019), Aviva by Boaz Yakin (2020), and You Resemble Me by Dina Amer (2021).

At the age of 20, she started acting in plays, including performing the role of Nina in Chekhov’s The Seagull directed by Hélène Babu (2014/2015).

In 2020, she was an artist-in-residence at Mass MoCA and she recently finished working on a dance show created at the LaMama Theater in New York called Broken Theater and directed by Bobbi Jene Smith.

Sabrina Ouazani

Sabrina Ouazani started acting at age 13 in the film L’Esquive, for which she was nominated as Most Promising Young Actress at the 2002 César awards.


She performed in multiple TV productions in France before acting in auteur films such as Adieu Gary by Nassim Amaouch – winner of the International Critics’ Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival – Des hommes et des dieux by Xavier Beauvois, La Source des Femmes by Radu Mihaileanu, and, last but not least, the award-winning Iranian film Le Passé, directed by Asghar Farhadi.


In 2013, Sabrina won the Jutra Award for Best Actress for the role of Rand in Inch’Allah, playing a young pregnant Palestinian who befriends a Quebec doctor named Chloe.


In 2014, she played the lead role of Nawel in Abd Al Malik’s feature film Qu’Allah bénisse la France. Simultaneously, she acted in various French comedies – performing, with among others, Omar Sy, Éric Judor and Franck Gastambide in the hit comedy Pattaya – and in Christophe Barratier’s thriller L’Outsider.


In 2017, she was the female lead in the film Ouvert la Nuit by Edouard Baer, co-starring Edouard Baer and Audrey Tautou, and dubbed the voice of Alexandra in the animated movie Sahara by Pierre Coré. A year later, she had the lead role in the feature film Break, directed by Marc Fouchard, and also in Enchantées by Safia Azzedine. On TV, she co-starred with Kevin Azaïs in Illettré by Jean-Pierre Améris.


The same year, Sabrina directed her first short film, On va Manquer, for the 2018 Talent Cannes Adami. Later, she performed in Mohamed Hamidi’s film Jusqu’ici tout va bien co-starring Gilles Lellouche and Malik Bentalha.


In 2019, she acted in Mohamed Hamidi’s feature Une belle équipe and the French Netflix series Plan Coeur season 2. In addition, Sabrina acted in Ismaël Ferroukhi’s feature Mica and the French series Prière d’enquêter. She also performed on stage in the play Les Justes, a musical tragedy staged by Abd Al Malik and adapted from Albert Camus’s original play.


Following her stage work, Sabrina dubbed the voice of Shenzi in The Lion King.


In 2020, she was awarded the lead role in the film Kung Fu Zohra of Mabrouk El Mechri. She also played an important character in Validé, a successful Canal Plus TV series.


Most recently, in 2021, Sabrina played the main role in Jean Pierre Ameris' latest film, Les Folies Fermières, alongside Alban Ivanov.



Main Cast

Lorenza Grimaudo: Child Hasna

Ilonna Grimaudo: Child Mariam

Mouna Soualem: Adult Hasna 1

Sabrina Ouazani: Adult Hasna 2

Dina Amer: Adult Hasna 3

Alexandre Gonin: Abdelhamid


with the participation of: Grégoire Colin & Zinedine Soualem


Technical Details

Original title: TU ME RESSEMBLES

International title: YOU RESEMBLE ME

Duration: 90 min

Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Format: 4k

Sound: 5.1

Year: 2021

Original languages: French, Arabic

Countries of production: France, Egypt, USA

Production Companies: The Othrs, VICE/RYOT

Co-production Companies: Hameda’s Stories, Dartagnan





Main Crew

Director: Dina Amer

Producer: Dina Amer, Karim Amer,

Elizabeth Woodward

Screenwriter: Dina Amer, Omar Mullick

Cinematography: Omar Mullick

Editing: Keiko Deguchi A.C.E., Jake Roberts A.C.E.

Sound Design: Carolina Santana, Nicolas Becker, Tom Paul

Music: Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi

Executive Producers: Spike Lee, Spike Jonze,

Alma Har'el, Natalie Farrey, Suroosh Alvi, Danny Gabai, Abigail E. Disney, Angie Wang, Hala Mnaymneh, Marni Grossman, Jamie Wolf, Geralyn Dreyfous, Charles de Rosen, Regina K. Scully, Karim Amer


World Sales

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phone +49 221 539 709-0

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North American Sales

CAA Media Finance

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International Press

US Press

Susan Norget

susan@norget.com