DOK Leipzig Film Festival



The Arab Spring is wintering in Sidi Bouzid. The town in the Tunisian interior seems provincial and insignificant. But at the turn of 2010/2011 the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi and the ensuing protests of hundreds of young people against the arbitrariness of the authorities made it the starting point of a departure that was to challenge a number of autocracies in the Arab world. Chafi, Ferid, Abdelhak and Boujdik are four young men who went out into the streets at the time, full of hope. Two years later they find themselves caught in a daily struggle between irrepressible energy and unbearably motionless, repressive “normalisation”. Ridha Tlili followed them with his camera from 2013 to 2016 to paint a very sympathetic portrait of his protagonists. The film reveals their human and philosophical depth in the midst of bleakness, their dreams and sense of humour: “Broke but well dressed!” The group fight against getting worn down by unemployment, against the slow suffocation of the revolution and the obstructions to a normal relationship with women. They found a theatre group, make music and organise political actions in the streets. Philosophising and making youthful jokes, the four are wintering in their backrooms, in the grocery store and on walks through the Wadi landscape outside the city.

André Eckardt

Nominated for Filmprize "Leipziger Ring"
Original Title: Tounsa
Country: Tunisia
Year: 2017
Language: Arabic
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 90 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Ridha Tlili
Producer: Ridha Tlili
Cinematographer: Ridha Tlili
Editor: Ridha Tlili
Sound: Yazid Chebi

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.