Myriam is a Canadian from Tunisian descendants with a bachelor in film production from Concordia University in Montreal. She’s interested in culture differences between the Maghreb and the West and the way these differences affect relationships and families. Khouya (My Brother) is her first short film and shows the difficulties of growing up in the middle of two opposite cultures, and sharing your experiences with your family as a child of immigrant. While Maghreb culture favors family and community, the West favors individualism and free will. Myriam wants to create a film genre that will illustrate the struggles that people of her generation go through while trying to balance those values in their everyday life.
Khouya tells the story of children of immigrants who grew up at home under strict rules and traditional ways of thinking, and were confronted to the open-minded values of north-American societies; such as freedom, independence and libertinism.
In a society that openly features sexuality and allows for diverse opinions to be shared, it is hard for those of us who were raised in conservative households, to juggle with these opposed values and to make our own sense of right and wrong.
This issue personifies through the character of Youness, who chooses to live the American way, and who consequently has to deal with his brother’s disapproving look. Khouya portrays how an environment can challenge one’s beliefs; it shows two brothers growing apart despite being raised under the same roof, and the drama of having to hide your lifestyle from your family for fear of being shamed and judged.
This short film is a social drama targeting millenials and portraying issues of identity and self-affirmation.