Ibn Battuta is a 30-year-old journalist who works for an Algerian daily newspaper. While covering community conflicts in Southern Algeria, he rediscovers the ancient, forgotten rebellions against the Abbasid caliphate in the 8th and 9th centuries. His research takes him to Beirut, a city that has for decades incarnated the battles and hopes of the Arab world. Nahla, a young Palestinian woman, has also come to Beirut, in search of her roots: her father was an activist who left the city in 1982, following a defeat against the Israeli army. Zanj Revolution premiered at the Rome International Film Festival (in the CineMAXXI sidebar) before traveling to the Viennale and International Film Festival Rotterdam.
“My characters are not victims, they react to situations. My film is not on the defensive, it is a film on the offensive, on the never-ending revolutionary impulse.”