Dirty Difficult Dangerous

Director: Wissam Charaf
Highlights Highlights Highlights
Winner of the Europa Cinemas Award at the Venice International Film Festival
Supported by the Italian Ministry for Culture, the French-Speaking Film Fund - OIF, the Doha Film Institute, and the CNC
The director’s first feature film was selected at the ACID section of the Cannes Film Festival
Dirty Difficult Dangerous Poster
2021/ France90 min/ Drama
The film follows Ahmed — a Syrian refugee roaming the streets of Beirut searching for metal objects to be recycled who thought he’d find love with Mehdia, an Ethiopian domestic.
However, in this city, such a story seems almost impossible. Will the couple be able to reclaim their freedom despite Ahmed’s body slowly turning to metal due to a mysterious illness?
Clara Couturet
Ziad Jallad
Rifaat Tarabay
Darina Al-Joundi


Screenwriters: Wissam Charaf, Hala Dabaji, and Mariette Désert
DOP: Martin Rit
Editor: Clémence Diard

Production Company(ies)
Aurora Films

Charlotte Vincent, Pierre Sarraf

film festivals
Venice International Film Festival, Italy
Filmfest Hamburg, Germany
Red Sea International Film Festival, Saudi Arabia
Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, Hong Kong
Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece
Filmfest Hamburg, Germany
Entrevues Belfort Film Festival, France
Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, France
Qisah International Film Festival, UK
Cinemamed Cinema Mediterraneen Bruxelles, Belgium
Kolkata International Film Festival, India
Pune International Film Festival, India
Marseille CINEVERSE Film Festival, France
Lunel Film Festival, France
Panorama of Cinemas of the Maghreb and the Middle East, France
Arabesque Films Festival, Scotland
Palm Springs International Film Festival, US
film awards
Europa Cinemas Award, Venice International Film Festival
Audience Award in the Feature Film Category, Entrevues Film Festival
MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival
Critics Award - Special Mention, Hamburg Film Festival
"The film’s intentionally minimalist tone and set design, and its occasionally incredible adventures... lend charm and a fabled air to a work which prioritizes restrained simplicity and unpretentious freshness in a complicated quest for freedom."
Fabien Lemercier — Cineuropa

“DIRTY, DIFFICULT, DANGEROUS is a beautifully crafted film that has echoes of many of the great magical realists of the past embedded deeply in its fabric.”
Matthew Joseph Jenner — International Cinephile Society

"Wissam Charaf's second feature tells the touchingly beautiful story of two human beings who are condemned to carry each other throughout their struggling existence and yet whose paradise lies within one another and the pure love they carry in their burdened hearts."

E. Nina Rothe — Moving Image Middle East

"Star-crossed lovers confront mounting obstacles to their happiness in Wissam Charaf's slight but intermittently charming DIRTY DIFFICULT DANGEROUS. A lightweight approach to some serious issues creates an awkward mix in places but, at its best, the film has the lugubrious air of an Aki Kaurismaki film."
Allan Hunter — Screen Daily

"Wissam Charaf manages a truly difficult feat with his film: To present two rather serious issues — the refugees and how the system with domestic helpers from abroad works through an approach that is occasionally hilarious, without… stripping the subjects from their significance nor hiding the despair both involve."
Panos Kotzathanasis — Asian Movie Pulse

"The movie is very powerful with strong visuals, extraordinary dialogue, and impeccable acting [that makes] us believe what [the characters] are going through."
Destination KSA

"A wondrous score with the right blend of traditional Levantine music and Ethiopian chanting gives the movie the right kind of mood to let it fly above the squalor of its setting and transform into an unforgettable love story."
Gautaman Bhaskaran — Arab News

"Charaf took a different look at Lebanese reality and according to his assessment of it – A look that has never been in this form in Lebanese cinema."
Hovic Havisham