These days it’s all about commercialization, being the biggest and earning the most money. Not only when it comes expensive mobile or television brands but also car companies and even supermarket chains. However, once in a while, a big opportunity presents itself, just like in the film The President’s Visit from Lebanese director Cyril Aris (The Swing, And Then I was Hearing Colours). With his latest and very playful film, Aris shows us a sweet story about a man living in a tiny city dreaming big.
Having his own small soap shop in a deserted fisher village, Nino Fattoush is living a very humble and simple life. He doesn’t have a lot of money but he has love from his family and friends. Little did he know that one day, an unexpected telephone call would change his life completely. A personal assistant of the president calls to say that the president is interested in Nino’s soap and that he would come and get it while visiting the small town. Nino is over the moon. Not only about this news but also because he was the only one that knew about it… or at least that was what he thought. Whilst going out to town, he discovers that everyone knows about the visit and some of the villagers even pretend to be Nino just to be able to sell soap to the president. How will the Nino cope with all of this and what will happen on the big day itself?
That’s something you will definitely find out when watching The President’s Visit. The emotions that are interwoven in the movie will keep you drawn to the screen until the end. With all those emotions follows wonderful acting. The entire cast of The President’s Visit might not be well-known to everyone but fingers crossed that will change soon. Fouad Yammine (The Insult, Vitamin) is very admirable and pleasing as Nino, the businessman whose once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can turn into his worst nightmare. Nino is clearly feeling a lot of affection for Soraya, one of the most open and modern thinking women in his village. Soraya is beautifully portrayed by Mounia Akl, whom you might have seen in short films such as Siham and Coma White.
The President’s Visit has already won different awards such as the Muhr Short Film Jury Prize during the Dubai International Film Festival (2017) and the Best Directing Award at the Elia Short Film Festival this year and it would come as no surprise if it would be awarded even more golden statues. It’s a wonderful film with an original story told in the most enjoyable way.