Blog posting written by Queline Meadows, Culture and Communication with minors in French and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, ’23, FLEFF Intern, Buffalo, New York.
Red Soil is about one woman fighting for a better environment.
The film, originally titled Rouge, is a Franco-Belgian eco-thriller that is part of this year’s FLEFF program.
Its story is about Nour (Zita Hanrot), a nurse who has been hired at a chemical plant where her father (Sami Bouajila) works. After meeting an independent journalist (Céline Sallette), she begins to uncover the poor waste management practices that have been making the workers sick.
The titular red soil refers to the physical evidence of the plant’s waste.
While the film is fictional, it’s based on a true story: that of the Gardanne Power Station, which discharged its toxic waste into the Mediterranean for years, creating red mud.
Director Farid Bentoumi was struck by this image and decided to use it as inspiration for his own film.
The main cast is made up of two César winners (Hanrot and Bouajila) and one César nominee (Sallette). Bouajila has worked with Bentoumi before on his 2015 film Good Luck Algeria.
Red Soil was also part of the official selection at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival.