54 minutes, 2014
Director: Feriel BEN MAHMOUD (France, Tunisia)
Production Company: Drôle de Trame, with the support of France Télévisions (France)
What role have the Arab revolutions given women? As they took to the streets alongside men, women’s rights and status have un-leashed passions and political battles. Yet 50 years ago, in the wake of independence, liberation and emancipation for Arab women seemed round the corner as political leaders proclaimed they wanted freedom for all. 50 years later however, Arab women have to fight more than ever to conquer or defend their hard-won rights. What has happened? And how do Arab women manage to rattle societies padlocked by sexism and patriarchy? This film tells the story of their struggles, which began more than a century ago. From Beirut to Casablanca, passing through Riyadh, Cairo, Tunis, and Algiers, Feriel Ben Mahmoud has collected testimonies from early activists, committed artists and today’s young feminists.
An historian by training, Feriel BEN MAHMOUD, has made many reportages and a dozen documentaries for television. Her central preoccupation as a director is the Muslim-Arab world, as it is now and as it was in the past. Among her longer films is one on French military prisons at Foum Tataouine in Tunisia for France 5; “Tunisie, histoire de femmes”, also for France 5 and more recently “Tunisie, année zéro”, for the Public Sénat about the chaotic beginnings of Tunisian democracy. She is also author of several historical films: “L’Algérie coloniale”, “Le tourisme en Orient”, and “Bataillons d’Afrique”.