TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


The Convert

Benjamin Cantu

Germany, Hungary


A dark stranger in a white landscape. Said (36) arrives in rural Germany on Christmas Eve, without identity or belongings. German authorities shelter him in a vacation home at the foot of the Alps.
He shaves and visits the village church, not knowing who he shall be from now on. All he longs for are his wife and three children. They are kept under arrest in Lebanon, within Said’s former life.
In his dreams, Said sees his eldest son Amin (13) walking in his footsteps, trained by the men Said served for and whom he spied on for the Germans.
Just when Said found a new perspective for himself, Amin suddenly arrives in Germany. He managed to escape, under conditions Said does not oversee. Unsettled by their reunion, Said is eager to win back his son’s trust. But Amin, who feels morally superior, questions Said’s role as head of the family. Scared by the compromises posed by a new life in Germany, Amin makes a severe decision. Yet what he wants the most is to see Said as his father again.


What sculpts identity? Is it the environment that shapes it or rather a self-determined step out of it? In my story I want to investigate the changing identities of my main characters, Said and Amin. Father and son are thrown into a new world, where they have to redefine their allocated roles and those towards each other. Said, who seeks recognition and self-determination by working for Western secret services, has made an irrevocable step. While Amin, who finds his father’s choice despicable, is confronted with the question of which world he wants to belong to.
The question, how the individual expresses his desire for self-determination within a polarized world, was what initially interested me. I believe my characters should not deny their origins. Rather than assimilating, I wish for them to shape their environment and surmount sociopolitical pressures.
I imagine the film like an intimate observation, character driven, yet on the verge to a spying perspective. Despite the film’s realism, I wish to use camera and sound in a subjective way, inspired by the film Un Prophète.

Said lives the afterlife of a spy. A blank page - until his son appears and turns it.
Benjamin Cantu

Scriptwriter, Film Director

production notes

directed by
Benjamin Cantu

produced byBoekamp & Kriegsheim GmbH
Eisenbahnstra├če 11
10997, Berlin

in co-production with
Seeking co-producers and financing