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Toronto: ‘Inch’Allah’ Director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette On Her Politically Charged Drama

Toronto: 'Inch'Allah' Director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette On Her Politically Charged Drama

A Québec native who has lived and studied in the vicinity of the West Bank, director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette is no stranger to the latent frictions of multiculturalism. Having cut her teeth on a slew of lauded documentaries, Barbeau-Lavalette makes her sophomore foray into the world of fiction features with “Inch’Allah” (“God Willing”). The film, she says, uses the perspective of a young Canadian physician abroad to explore the experience of “the divided population of the West Bank.” Chloé, who works in a women’s health clinic on the Palestinian side of the border and lives in an apartment on the Israeli side, develops close ties to people in both worlds. Ultimately faced with a choice that carries consequences for each of these twin realities, Chloé is confronted with the absurdity of her impact on struggles that can never really be her own.

How did you get involved in features? “I come from documentaries. I think filming it is one of the most powerful challenges one can have. The Dardenne Brothers are always an inspiration to me.”
What it’s all about: “Talking about something that is not mine…that’s what the movie’s about. As an outsider, is it possible not to be involved?”
On the need for narrative: “‘Inch’Allah’ is an intense, politically charged drama that explores the impact and ramifications of Israel’s separation barrier. I met people and dilemmas. I needed to build a story with it.”

Indiewire invited select newcomers to the Toronto International Film Festival to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faces, and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses throughout TIFF. Go HERE to read other profiles.

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