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8 Tunisian Movies That Deserve Your Attention

from the North of Africa straight to your screen

If a book should never be judged by its cover, then, a country should never be assessed by its size. Such is the case for Tunisia, whose total land surface is comparatively small next to its bordering neighbors. However, the tiny North African country happens to be home to a surplus of talent that could rival any nation. Can it be in the realm of arts, fashion, or cinema, the Mediterranean country takes pride in its rich cultural heritage and vibrant creative scene, standing out on the most revered of stages, despite all odds stacked against the relatively discrete state. 

Examples of such exceptionalism are countless. Just last month, Tunisian film director and screenwriter Kaouther Ben Hania, who has received two Academy Award nominations in the past– one in 2017 for Best Foreign Language with Beauty and the Dogs and another in 2020 for Best International Feature Film for The Man Who Sold His Skin– took home the Best Documentary prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival for her docu-drama Four Daughters in the L’Oeil d’Or category.

As Tunisia’s star continues to rise and shine, we decided to cast a light on eight titles directed by Tunisian filmmakers that deserve your attention and to be added to your to-watch list right now.

‘Under the Fig Trees’ (2021)

Director: Erige Sehiri
IMBD Synopsis: “Among the trees, young women and men working the summer crops develop new feelings, flirt, try to understand each other, find – and flee – deeper bonds.”

‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’ (2020)


Director: Kaouther Ben Hania 

IBMD Synopsis: “His own body turned into a living work of art and promptly exhibited in a museum, Sam, a Syrian refugee, will soon realize to have sold away more than just his skin.”

‘Noura’s Dream’ (2019)

Director: Hinde Boujemaa

IBMD Synopsis: “With her abusive husband in jail and a coveted divorce pending, hardworking Noura can almost grasp a happy, new life with lover Lassaad – but when the best-laid plans are upended, Noura must tap her unshakable will to fulfill her dream.”

‘Of Skin and Men’ (2017)


Director: Mehdi Ben Attia

IBMD Synopsis: “Following the death of her husband in an accident, young Amel tries to find some consolation in photography. She takes photos of strangers from the street, looking at men as they tend to do towards women.”

‘A Tale of Love and Desire’ (2021)


Director: Leyla Bouzid 

IBMD Synopsis: “Ahmed, an 18-year old, French of Algerian origin,  meets Farah, a young Tunisian girl. He discovers a collection of sensual and erotic Arab literature and falls in love with Farah and he tries to resist the desire.”

‘Narcissus’ (2015)


Director: Sonia Chemkhi

IBMD Synopsis: “While Mehdi is torn between his secret gay affair and the perspective of getting married, his sister Hind struggles to face her present and to reveal the secrets of her past kept in the dark.”

‘Beauty and the Dogs’ (2017)


Director: Kaouther Ben Hania 

IBMD Synopsis: “A college student seeks help after a brutal assault but faces a bureaucratic nightmare when she reveals that her perpetrators are police officers.”

‘Arab Blues’ (2019) 


Director: Manele Labidi

IBMD Synopsis: “After years abroad in Paris, Selma returns to Tunis with the dream of opening up her own psychotherapy practice.”

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