Rebel: why did the directors of Bad Boys 3 make a film about Daesh?

On the occasion of the release of “Rebel” directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (“Bad Boys For Life”), here are five things to know about this punchy dive into the mysteries of Daesh.

rebel of Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

With Aboubakr Bensaihi, Lubna Azabal, Amir El Arbi

What is it about ? Kamal decides to go to Syria to help the victims of the war. But when he arrives, he is forced to join an armed group and finds himself stranded in Raqqa. His younger brother Nassim, who dreams of joining him, becomes easy prey for jihad recruiters. Leïla, their mother, then tries to protect her youngest son.

A popular duo in Hollywood…

Rebel why did the directors of Bad Boys 3 make
Sony Pictures Releasing France

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, to whom we owe aesthetic gangster films like Black and Gangstaalso directed the American blockbuster Bad Boys For LifeFollowing bad boys and Bad Boys II of Michael Bay. In May 2021, after directing two episodes of the series Miss Marvelthey are chosen to be in command of Batgirlthe new DC version for HBO Max.

But the new management of Warner finally decided to cancel the film at the beginning of August 2022 … An announcement which triggered a real thunderclap in Hollywood, especially since the blockbuster at 70 million dollars was already and already shot and in post-production.

Why radicalization?

Rebel why did the directors of Bad Boys 3 make
Jo Voets

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah explain why they made a film about the radicalization of a young Belgian of Moroccan origin: “In 2012, 2013, people of our age, most of the same origin as ours, Moroccan origin , who lived in Belgium, decided to go to Syria. Something we had never really seen.”

“There had not been this same phenomenon during the conflict in Iraq. It was about young people sometimes whom we knew, or friends of friends. Everyone in Belgium, of North African origin, knows someone one who went there, and often these young people left in groups. We wondered what they were going to do in Syria.”

References: Audiard, Villeneuve, etc.

1662095934 178 Rebel why did the directors of Bad Boys 3 make
Film Tray

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and their appointed director of photography, Robrecht Heyvaerthad as references the films of Jacques Audiard (for his deep and nervous sense of hard light) and those of Kore Eda (for its sense of family story). The directors develop:

“We could also add Denis Villeneuve for fires. Visually, we knew that there had to be a difference between Belgium and Syria, even if, without even wanting it, this difference was automatic as the sun and the environment between the two countries are totally different.

In Belgium and Jordan

1662095936 928 Rebel why did the directors of Bad Boys 3 make
Film Tray

If the Syrian part of Rebel was shot in Jordan (the team was unable to set up its cameras in Morocco given the country’s own health restrictions), the Belgian sequences take place in Molenbeek, famous for the number of its young people. gone to Syria. This city, and proportionally Belgium, even had the highest percentage of people who went to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah explain:

“The Belgians in Syria were known to be the ones who arrived from the start of the Syrian conflict. No one can really explain clearly why Belgium has such a high percentage, twice, three times the norm of other countries.”

Fetish actor

1662095937 924 Rebel why did the directors of Bad Boys 3 make
Film Tray

With Rebel, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah find Aboubakr Bensaihi, who was one of the two young main actors in Black (2016). “He comes from Molenbeek, he knows people who have left. The subject is close to his heart, so it was logical that he became Kamal”, they say.

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