Ibn Rushd Prize 2007

العربية Deutsch

Nouri Bouzid

Nouri Bouzid

The prize was announced to be awarded to
an Arab film maker (cinema or TV), who has dedicated himself/herself to freedom and democracy and has tackled the problems of social and political taboos through his/her works, critically investigating related phenomena and practices from a new perspective.

  • Call for Nomination
    العربية DeutschCall for Nomination The Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought will award its Prize 2007 to An Arab film maker (cinema or TV), who has dedicated himself/herself to […]
  • CV Nouri Bouzid
    العربية DeutschNouri Bouzid Nouri Bouzid was born in 1945 in Sfax, the secon largest city in Tunisia. He studied cinema at the Institut National Superieur des Arts du Spectacle (INSAS) […]
  • Members of the Jury 2007
    العربية DeutschMembers of the Jury 2007 Samir Farid Samir Farid was born in 1943 in Cairo, Egypt. He studied drama criticism at the Academy of Arts, High Institute of Dramatic […]

Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought presents the
Ibn Rushd Prize 2007 to
the Tunisian film director Nouri Bouzid

On November 30th, 2007, Nouri Bouzid received the ninth Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought at the Goethe Institute in Berlin. He is honoured for his remarkably courageous film work, in which he expresses his views against injustice and contributes to critical thought in the Arab society.

The celebration opened with a welcome speech given by two representatives of the Ibn Rushd Fund, Sami Ibrahim and Abier Bushnaq. “There was a choice of 32 candidates nominated by over 56 persons from all over the world. We would like to thank all who have taken part in the nomination. The participation in the nomination far exceeded our expectations. It shows, that the world of the cinema is a very concrete world, accessible to many people and of interest on a broad basis.”

In his laudatory speech the film director and producer Frieder Schlaich (Filmgalerie 451) said that he used to take freedom of thought and of speech for granted until he realised that “some artists in other countries must be careful of what they say to survive”. 

“Whether he critizes partriarchal structures, political captivity, prostitution, Golf War or child labour, Nouri Bouzid has never exploited his issues. He was always curious and occupied himself with the subjects of his films for many years. He penetrated deep into his characters and has challenged himself and his audience over and over again. The most amazing thing is, that he has never wearied to keep going on, tilting at the windmills of state resistance.” 
(photo: Chairwoman of Ibn Rushd Fund, Fadia Foda, and Nouri Bouzid)

Frieder Schlaich continues: “To hold out all this needs the nature of a fighter, which Nouri Bouzid indeed has. There is not one film, behind which Nouri Bouzid has hidden himself. In all his films he has shown deficits of our societies. He has never tired of filming and was never tempted to make beautiful exotic films he could have expected a larger market for. With his consequent filmography he belongs to the greatest film directors of internationals cinema, closely following the example of Pasolini, Godard or Chahine.” 

Nouri Bouzid began his speech with his conclusion: “I have always thought that my destiny would be the same destiny I have invented for the figures of my films. My figures destiny is failure and absolute break down and defeat, because there is nothing else left to them but their secret resistance and departure to unknown destinations, which goes beyond their strength. (…) Yet, unlike them I am now being honoured, as if I would profit from their failure (…). I was used to make of defeat a new beginning, and of failure a motivation.”

“So I have decided to make out of my crisis the starting point of my creativity and out of my disgrace the pride of my work of art. Out of my defeat I have made an analytical construction. I became an unpleasant witness. In a time, in which we do not point any more at the guilty any more but at those who talk about the deeds of the guilty, in a time, in which talking about events has become more dangereous than the events themselves, I have learned that speeking is important, as a matter of fact it is the most important task of an intellectual. I have realized that new ways of thinking in fact start from a dangereous, violent reality and that they are contagious.”

I began distributing this reality around me with the idea of infecting as many people as possible: 
Distribute my flesh for charity  /  On the thresholds of the mosques
Mankind will know of my destiny  /  When I will be stuck in the throat of those
who are followed by a greedy 
With my with rabies contaminated skin /  I can even infect my hearers 

Nouri Bouzid receives the Ibn Rushd Prize 2007. He is awarded “for his remarkably courageous film work, in which he expresses his viewers against injustice and contributes to critical thought in the Arab society.” 
(from left to right: Nouri Bouzid, Aiman Mubarak, Vice President  John Nasta, Chairwoman Fadia Foda)

Nouri Bouzid with Frieder Schlaich
Among the guests are academics, journalists, politians, film makers and intellectuals of different nationalities. In the end of the festivity Baqlawa and  tea is being served. 

Some journalists took the chance to interview the prize winner (al-Jazeera TV Channel, Deutsche Welle, Radio Berlin Brandenburg and others). Achmed Khammas translates Frieder Schlaich’s and Nouri Bouzid’s speeches simultaneously.

Nouri Bouzid, Aiman Mubarak, member of the board of Ibn Rushd Fund
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