Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Jonathan Millet's "Ghost Trail" Opens Cannes Critics' Week

Mon 13 May 2024 | 06:16 PM
Ghost Trail
Ghost Trail
Yara Sameh - Pasant Elzaitony

With the Cannes Film Festival’s 77th edition coming up on the horizon and set to take place from May 14 to 25, French-Syrian director Jonathan Millet's “Ghost Trail,” the psychological thriller is set to be the opener for the 63rd Critics’ Week, which is set to take place from May 15 to the 23.

It will be holding three different screenings at the festival held at Espace Miramar. The film will be screened three times on Wednesday, May 15 at 8:30 am, followed by another screening at 2:15 pm, and then the film’s official premiere will be held at 7:45 pm as part of the Critics’ Week Opening Ceremony.  

It will also screen twice on Thursday, May 16th — the first at 9 am at La Licorne and the second at 7 pm at Le Raimu — and at 2 pm on Friday, May 24th at STUDIO 13.

Inspired by real-life events, “Ghost Trail” tells the story of a Syrian man named Hamid who is part of a secret group pursuing fugitive leaders that perpetrated horrors in the name of the Syrian regime during the country’s civil war. His mission takes him to France, on the trail of his former torturer. And he manages to track him down.

“But with his judgment clouded by pressure, doubt and revenge, can he be certain of the righteousness of his own actions?” the synopsis reads.

Talking about the project, Millet, who previously co-directed doc “Ceuta, Douce Prison” – about five migrants who leave their lands to try their luck in Europe and end up in an open-air prison in Morocco – described the project as “the continuation of my work on migration through narrative film and documentary” in promotional materials. 

“I have kept my bearing; I seek to capture singular individual destinies to explore exile through the perspective of human beings,” the director said.

Millet’s own life is reflected in the film’s script stems from the fact that he lived a little over a year in Aleppo, Syria when he was 20 and the civil war hadn’t started yet. 

“A few years later war broke out and my friends in Aleppo would send me the footage they had shot the previous week,” he recalled. “I experienced war and the destruction of our neighborhood through these videos. They fled to Istanbul, where I visited them several times, in the heart of the Syrian community in Turkey, and later to Germany,”.

“I wanted to make my characters into movie heroes to pay tribute to these stories of exile that I had heard about, and which would make any adventure film screenwriter blanch. What first struck me in these exiles’ quest is how urgent and how modern it is,” Millet added.

Cannes Critics’ Week artistic director Ava Cahen has described “Ghost Trail” as a “thrilling sensory film in which French-Tunisian actor Adam Bessa’s subtlety leaves us breathless.”

Bessa, who plays Hamid, won the best actor award in the 2022 Cannes Un Certain Regard section for his role in U.S.-based director Lotfy Nathan’s “Harka.” “Ghost Trail” also stars Palestinian actor Tawfeek Barhom (“Boy From Heaven”).

“Ghost Trail” is sold by French arthouse production and distribution giant MK2. It will be distributed in the MENA region by Mad Solutions.