Le réveil de l'instinct

A young and beautiful woman stops at the edge of a clearing overlooking the sea. The view from the top of the mountain amazes her. She spends a pleasant moment admiring the sea and the surrounding landscape. She feasts on fruit and rests on the ground. She then takes off her clothes, puts on her two pieces and leaves the clearing. She bathes in the sea. When she returns to the clearing, she is surprised to find a young man with whom she will discuss for a long time. As she talks to him about nature, beauty, love and freedom, he tells her about his project to build a tourist complex and lots of money to be made!

  • Abdelwaheb Bouden
  • Abdelwaheb Bouden
  • Abdelwaheb Bouden
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Le réveil de l'instinct
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Abdelwaheb Bouden

Abdelwaheb Bouden
Independent film director
Born in 1947 in Kairouan Tunisia
- University studies in Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (France).
- Doctorate in philosophy (aesthetics mention).
- Degree in Cinematographic Studies at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes (France).
- Writing, directing and producing feature films titled:
La mer aussi aime le blues
Ce réel qui m'échappe
Quand la mer séduit la montagne
Le réveil de l'instinct

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Director Statement

Existential Cinema

Concept and Style

My cinema is inspired by philosophy, aesthetics, and ecology.

Nature, beauty, love, and freedom.

The countryside
Since my childhood, I found nature more attractive and friendlier than the intolerant and authoritarian society in which I lived. I always remember those moments of pleasure, peace, and freedom that I spent in my father's orchard located in the middle of the countryside, several kilometers away from my old hometown where I lived with my family. I found calmness and serenity among the greenery, trees, and animals. I spent my time walking and playing without anyone disturbing me.
My father - to whom I pay a heartfelt tribute - was a particularly tolerant man. He loved nature and outdoor life despite belonging to the city and its way of life. He frequently took us to the countryside to change the atmosphere. Walking and playing outdoors and in the sunlight without the control of authority was a moment of liberation and exotic wonder for the child and adolescent that I was.
During the summer fruit season, I indulged in apricots, peaches, apples, pears, figs, and grapes that I picked directly from the trees and ate without washing, just wiping them off. The fruits of that time were not treated throughout the region. They had a delicious taste, and the naturally fragrant smell of apples could be sensed from a long distance, far from the apple trees.
The sunsets behind the distant mountains fascinated me particularly. I spent the evening marveling at the view of the stars and the prevailing silence.

The sea
I also remember that distant open-air escape located several kilometers from my hometown, which was the second place of freedom, tranquility, and wonder for the child, adolescent, and young high school student that I was: the sea and the beach of a coastal tourist town where my family spent the summer vacations every year.
My daily rhythm of life was simple and regular. Throughout the vacation period, I woke up at dawn and went to the beach alone while the family members continued to sleep. Bare-chested and dressed in a simple swimsuit, I quickly walked barefoot through the two streets that separated the family home from the sea. I discovered the sea with astonishment and immense pleasure every day, as if each day were the first, and this was before sunrise, before the water became rough and before the arrival of bathers to the beach later in the morning.
The sea fascinated and astonished me at the same time. I sat on the furthest rock inside the sea, facing away from the city and its still-sleeping inhabitants at this early hour of the day. The sight of a calm, limpid sea, shining like a mirror, without ripples or the slightest breeze, soothed me. I marveled at the visual sensation of its bluish color with multiple nuances and its endless expanse. The most wonderful moments were when I found the sea upon my early arrival, calm, limpid, and almost colorless, at best whitish, so still as if it were still asleep. The light of dawn seemed to surprise the sea, urging it to wake up from its nocturnal drowsiness. It revealed itself to my eyes like a new birth. Its surface appeared like a vast ice, and sometimes I would fly over it imaginatively to the distant horizon, just for a brief moment of daydreaming. After a while, sometimes short, sometimes long, and under the influence of the breeze, the sea became more agitated, shifting from whitish to different shades of blue.
The reigning silence soothed me and the solitude comforted me. The birds seemed to welcome the dawn with joy. Their sporadic chirping animated the atmosphere. I spent a lot of time looking at the sea and drinking in the fresh air before taking my first dive. I enjoyed swimming in its clear and invigorating water without worrying about the passage of time. I rested afterwards to contemplate the sea and admire its beauty and immensity. I was not one to meditate in front of the sea to seek some metaphysical vision beyond what I saw. The sea was for the solitary and independent child, adolescent and young high school student that I was, this wonderful existential and aesthetic reality that fascinated my gaze, blossomed my body and made my sensitivity vibrate.
I watched the sunrise with wonder and enjoyed following the beautiful star in its slow and gradual rise above the horizon. I then returned to swimming for and the bathers began to flock and clutter the beach. I returned to the edge of the sea at the end of the day, almost daily, to take a walk and witness with wonder the moving spectacle of this same sea which had become agitated in the afternoon by the effect of the fresh and invigorating air that had come from the east. I lingered until nightfall marveling and amazed at the same time by this fascinating sea that changed colors, pace and style in a single day. My approach to the sea is spontaneously existential and aesthetic and in no way metaphysical. The sensory pleasure that I felt by swimming in this limpid and invigorating sea water where my body felt free like a fish, as well as the visual fascination by its immensity, its nuances of colors, its different styles and paces, made me an amazed and good living esthete rather than a spiritual and a contemplative and pensive metaphysician. This wonderment by nature in general and the sea in particular has been formed in me since my very early childhood and has accompanied me throughout the ages of my life until now with intensity and astonishment always renewed in continuity. The dark room The third escape space was different from the previous spaces, but it fulfilled almost the same function as the countryside and the sea.
The dark room
Where dream images were projected!
this unique movie theater in the old town where, as a teenager, I liked to go see a western film almost every Sunday to experience a moment of waking dream. Indian rides in the American wilderness fascinated and amazed him.

2.Nature, Art, and Philosophy
Becoming a student at the only high school in my hometown, I discovered the art of painting with pleasure. I painted landscapes and sunsets on the sea. Nature, especially the sea, was obviously the privileged theme of my paintings. I spontaneously made the connection between two passions: nature and painting. I found in nature and painting an existential and aesthetic dimension that made me dream.

Alongside painting, I was fascinated by the beautiful landscapes of the American plains and canyons in Western movies, which I saw as immense natural-scale paintings. I felt admiration and sympathy for the Native Americans, whom I saw as closer to nature than the cowboys. I didn't pay much attention to the stories being told. What attracted me the most were the natural landscapes and the Indian horse rides. A Western without wild landscapes and Indian horse rides didn't satisfy the teenager I was.
As soon as I learned about the formation of an amateur filmmakers' club in my hometown, I didn't hesitate to join, and my passion for painting gradually transformed into cinema and photography without losing the aesthetic and emotional connection with my original art. I was able to make three short films in black and white using analog film.

My conception of cinema is essentially aesthetic, based on the concept of beauty in a philosophical sense, in that beauty constitutes the central value of artwork. My cinema is more about style than the themes to be addressed and the stories to be told.
Reconnecting with nature and its primary existential dimension beyond the eventful turmoil within society is the philosophical, aesthetic, and ecological research orientation of the cinema that I hope to contribute to gradually developing from one film to another. I focus on moments in life where nothing or very little happens, moments generally considered non-eventful, moments of rest. A sequence of contemplating the sea on a deserted beach followed by a peaceful swim in calm, clear water with few people is generally considered a non-cinematic event compared to a breathtaking car chase with shootouts and killings followed by a high-suspense police investigation.
I believe that the sequence of contemplating the sea and swimming reveals the intensity and permanence of existence in its greatest simplicity and existential depth. Living in harmony with nature and its natural rhythm, with slowness and tranquility, is the primary and profound meaning of existence. This is something that is not accessible to the majority of people caught in the whirlwind of social and professional life.
Nature and its rhythm of life, as the first and fundamental given of existence, inspire my philosophy of life and cinema.
The problem for humanity today lies in the uncontrolled runaway that puts it in danger because it has become evident that it is essential, even vital, to stay within the limits of nature while building its own human and social home with freedom and creativity, sustainability, and a sense of modernity.
Society increasingly puts nature and its rhythm of life on the back burner to constantly develop its accelerated rhythm that it no longer controls.
My films are the expression of moments of harmonious existence with nature, not the narration of a story filled with events connected to the accelerated social lifestyle, emphasized by artificial violence and drama that claim to be the expression of reality.
My inclination toward nature does not exclude my adherence to modernity, one that serves the preservation and development of natural and human life for the better.
This existential philosophy is essentially aesthetic. My conception of aesthetics is philosophical in the sense that I consider beauty as the throbbing heart of life and the purpose of art. Aesthetics is not merely decorative or ornamental, or a cover-up or disguise. The beauty of an actress is not just physical; it is also a presence, a gaze, a gesture, a way of walking, a voice, words