Dora Bouchoucha

The Tunisian film producer talks to Alan Philps about the creativity and misogyny unleashed by the 2011 revolution, and the advantages of going to a boys’ school.

The World Today Published 1 April 2020 Updated 10 March 2021 4 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

Your award-winning film Weldi (Dear Son), which you have been showing in London, describes how a family loses their only child when he runs off to Syria to fight with the jihad. What does this tell us about Tunisia almost a decade after the revolution?

The film is not really about jihadism, even though Tunisia is said to be the country that sent the largest number per capita of recruits to join the Islamic State group. It is really about fatherhood and what it means to be a parent today. Parents want to perpetuate the model of their own lives through their children – finding a job and starting a family. But in the film the father discovers that young people want much more than that, to feel important, even if they have to die for it. So it’s about the guilt, shame and pain of the parents left behind. The boy could have gone anywhere, not simply to fight with Islamic State.

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