Far from any Marivaux-like literary flourishes, this production brings us words spoken in a direct, unflinching way on the subject of marital dispute and the premonition of the break-up. Given that they are the ones best placed to talk about it – though rarely listened to – writer and director Mohamed El Khatib invited children of parents who have split up to take to the stage and share their points of view, based on interviews conducted over several months with around 100 8-year-olds from different backgrounds.
The real has always played the leading role in the works of Mohamed El Khatib. Considering no area of investigation out of bounds, he prefers lived experience to expertise, source to digression, and personal account to professional analysis. El Khatib presents a far cry from the alarming pictures painted by psychologists, jurists, and sociologists in relation to the effects of divorce on the lives of children. Through his interviews with these children, El Khatib explores, in the heart of the process of parental separations, how the children are affected by the decision of their parents. What words do they put to this crucial event occurring in the early stages of their lives? How do they view this breaking of a sentimental engagement that they always thought was unconditional? Did they guess it was going to happen? Had they taken sides? Caught up in the ruins of this dissolution of the family unit, how do they, themselves, rebuild their lives? What questions had they always dreamt of asking their parents? This latest work by Mohamed El Khatib, written through the prism of childhood, treads a delicate path between audacity and discretion, emotion and mischievousness, and offers us a unique insight into a universal subject in society.
The recording of this live production is presented in French. The virtual event is free and open to the public.
WATCH THE EVENT
The video recording was posted on this page from September 13-16, 2020.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
On September 16 at 4:45 p.m. (EDT), join us for a live Zoom conversation with writer/director Mohamed El Khatib following the online presentation of La dispute. Advance registration required; Register for the Conversation
If you are in need of access accommodations in order to participate in this event, please contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date.