• Flash Competition


Paul Heintz

In this night-time road movie, Paul Heintz pursues his work on the edge of reality (Foyers, FID 2018), delving deep into fantasies and their sometimes ambivalent virtues, the better to undo the coercive power of which they are sometimes also the instrument. Here we’re with three friends one hot summer’s evening somewhere in Saudi Arabia. A city, and in the distance, a monumental fountain, a phallic spurt if ever there was one. And as we begin to make out its gushing spray of water from afar, to alleviate their boredom, the three young women embark on a verbal joust with, at its heart, the word nafura.  Heintz examines the effects of the history of water and the creation of urban and political fantasies in a country where everyone knows how very precious a commodity it is, a symbol of wealth and power. Literally exploring the underside of this setting, the film offers a different narrative that leads from a political fable to its opposite in the form of a nocturnal drifting, opening up a reflection on power and taboo. Nafura – the film – sets bodies in motion, making use of images, voices and language, its powers of irreverent inventions and its subversive strength. By filming these women with distorted voices and altered faces, the luminous aspects of their radiant presence burnt by their required invisibility, in this commanding gesture, Heintz demonstrates the power of their freedom despite the restrictions. And Nafura – the word – spreads out, contaminating everything around it like an active counter-form, jubilant yet corrosive.

Nicolas Feodoroff

  • Flash Competition

Technical sheet

France / 2023 / 29’

Original version: Arabic
Subtitles: English, French
Script: Paul Heintz, Quentin Faucheux-Thurion
Photography: Paul Heintz
Editing: Jeanne Sarfati
Sound: Paul Heintz

Production: Anne-Catherine Witt (Macalube Films)

Nafura / 2023 / 27
Dedans c’est à l’intérieur / 2023 / 13
Characters / 2022 / 39
Shānzhài screens / 2020 / 23
Foyers / 2018 / 18
Non contractuel / 2015 / 16