Bezness as Usual
- Toronto International Film Festival
- Doc NYC
- Locarno Film Festival
- *Best Documentary* | Subversive Festival
- Dubai International Film Festival
"Bezness as Usual lets contemporary sensibility confront tradition in a unique and intimate family portrait" - POV Magazine
"Beziness as Usual does not provide any easy answers. Instead, it is a film that deeply understands the complicated nature of familial bonds, especially when history, religion, money and feelings are deeply intertwined." - CinemaAxis
Filmmaker Alex Pitstra has lived his life pulled between cultures. Raised in Holland by his mother, Anneke, he longed to know more about Mohsen, his absent Tunisian father. Alex was the result of a holiday romance, conceived after 36-year-old divorcee Anneke met 23-year-old Mohsen in Tunisia. In the course of this documentary he attempts to get to know his father, make sense of his roots, and bridge his own personal cultural divide, that clearly attests to a wider phenomena and the intrinsic dynamics between Europe and the muslim world.
As Alex digs deeper, he learns his parents' relationship was part of a pattern. During the rise of mass tourism in the 1970s, young Tunisian men from poor families would target European women at beaches and hotels. It was their business — "bezness" in the local parlance. Alex wasn't the only child born of these encounters. He discovers a half-sister, Jasmin, in Switzerland and a cousin in Sweden.
Alex and Jasmin travel to Tunisia to meet their father. Mohsen is still full of the charm that had enticed their mothers. But there are numerous tensions to navigate, arising from his Muslim faith, attitudes towards women, economic disadvantages, and checkered past. By filming over a long period of time, Alex is able to create nuanced portraits, and weaves a novelistic storyline that reavels a deep cultural difference not unlike the discrepancy behind many contemporary global. As Alex probes his own motives and contradictions as much as he does those held by others, Bezness as Usual becomes a sensitive exploration of unexpected consequences, and a life torn between two inherently different, yet equally assertive cultures.