EL Arbi and Fallah's first. These two young talents made their dream a reality when they moved to Hollywood to shoot the latest Bad Boys sequel, but they started out with considerably fewer means to their disposal. With Image, they showcased what they could do on a budget, and I will say the result is pretty impressive.
The plot revolves around a young girl working in a newsroom. She has found a perfect subject for a documentary in a Moroccan man who agrees to guide her through the quarters of Molenbeek. She gets pressured from above to complete her documentary as quickly as possible, but she believes her doc can bring much-needed nuance to a heavily polarized story.
The performances are strong, the thorny subject is handled with the proper care, and the dramatization of the plot is successful. The pacing and runtime are pretty much perfect, too. Image isn't a whiny plea for respect, nor a simple excuse, nor a dry political pamphlet, instead it's a well-made film that doesn't sugarcoat its message. A very nice feature film debut.