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“They were not acting”: Batgirl Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah Molded Their Trauma Into the Most Personal Film of Their Careers

Batgirl Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah Molded Their Trauma Into the Most Personal Film of Their Careers

When it comes to raw and unfiltered cinematic storytelling, few films can match the intensity of Rebel, the masterpiece created by the visionary director duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. With roots in Morocco and Belgium, these cinematic geniuses have risen to Hollywood stardom, leaving an indelible mark on the film industry.

However, Rebel stands out as a deeply personal expression of pain, love, and reflection amidst their blockbuster successes. Even more fascinating is the seamless transition from high-octane action to poignant personal stories.

Adil El Arbi And Bilall Fallah’s Rebel Within: More Than Just a Film

Adil El Arbi And Bilall Fallah
Adil El Arbi And Bilall Fallah

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah‘s voyage from the sands of Morocco, through the streets of Belgium, and into the starry world of Hollywood is nothing short of legendary. Before mesmerizing global audiences with blockbusters like Bad Boys for Life, the duo crafted gems like Black and Gangsta that resonated with Belgian audiences.

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But with Rebel, they’re breaking barriers, moving hearts, and pushing the boundaries of the art of creating cinematic masterpieces. Rebel is a cathartic expression of El Arbi and Fallah’s own traumatic experiences witnessing the rise of ISIS and the resulting devastation.


In an interview with Movie Web, the filmmakers revealed that the actors were “real parents that really lost their sons who went to Syria, and they were not acting.” 

“I mean, there’s a scene with parents of people that went there, and that scene is actually not a fiction scene. It’s like a documentary. So those parents are real parents that really lost their sons who went to Syria, and they were not acting. They’re really like giving their testimonial. So obviously, when they saw the movie, it was very personal for them because they recognized the experience that their sons have in Syria and ISIS.”

The film depicts young Muslims’ external rebellious journey and delves into their internal struggles, creating a compelling, heart-wrenching narrative. Incorporating real parents and victims of ISIS isn’t just a brave, cinematic choice; it’s a homage to authenticity.

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Rebel Is Making Massive Waves


The film is the director’s outlet to express the incomprehensible pain of witnessing friends and acquaintances getting sucked into the treacherous fold of ISIS. It’s their tribute to their homeland and a call to the world to wake up and take notice.

Rebel is more than just a film; it’s a responsibility that Adil El Arbi and Fallah have undertaken. They aren’t just directors here but witnesses chronicling a dark chapter in global history. From refugee camps in Beirut to theaters worldwide, Rebel has made its mark.

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The film’s authenticity strikes a chord with viewers, especially those who’ve directly experienced the atrocities of ISIS. It’s not just a film; it’s a mirror reflecting society’s brutal truths.

Source: Movie Web

Written by Mabel Andrady

Mabel, aka MJ, is a FandomWire Sr. Writer, pop-culture fanatic, and an MA in Health Demography holder. When she's not indulging in her guilty pleasure of penning everything Hollywood, Marvel & DC, she writes academic essays on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. With 2500+ articles published online, she brings a unique twist to entertainment writing. A jack-of-all-trades, MJ enjoys movies, writes/acts in plays, writes music, and dreams of being a successful actress. She offers a fresh perspective, making her writing a must-read for those seeking knowledge and entertainment.