By Mehdi HMILI


Drama - Post-Production 2015

Once upon a time in Thala, during a cold night of January, freedom was born there….

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Drama, First film
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Mehdi HMILI
    • Writer(s)
    • Mehdi HMILI
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Beginning of January 2011, during the Tunisian revolution, Mohamed, a popular union leader who is a
      political prisoner, manages to escape from jail and returns to his native town Thala. He finds it in the midst
      of a revolt. He has only one goal: to find his fiancée Hourya and flee the country through the borders to
      Mohamed is helped in his flight by Belgacem a coalman and former agent of the regime who is hoping to be
      redeemed. He hides Mohamed in his garage.
      On the night of January 9th, Mohamed witnesses yet another slaughter. As he carries the dead body of a
      young man to hospital, a young protestor films him on his cell phone and the video is uploaded on
      Meanwhile, we discover Hourya who lives with her husband, Adel, a quiet man who has accepted her past
      but forbids her of taking part in any political activity. Hourya, helped by her friend Rim, is committed to the
      struggle against Ben Ali in Kasserine. When she finishes her work in a textile factory, she risks her life
      distributing tracts in the streets crowded with policemen and agents of the regime.
      Hourya was raped in prison under Mohamed’s very eyes after their arrest. She believes that Mohamed has
      died under torture and to save her own life, she accepted to get married to Adel whom she does not love.
      However, her old demons of militancy awaken on the day Bouazizi immolates himself in Sidi Bouzid.
      On January 10th morning, in the town of Kasserine, Rim is on the Internet in a cyber café during her lunch
      break. She sees the video in which Mohamed carries the dead body and recognises him. She runs to warn
      Hourya that Mohamed is in Thala.
      The people of Kasserine discover the slaughter of the inhabitants of Thala and riots break out.
      Hourya is determined to go to Thala at any price. She is helped by a friend who puts her into an ambulance
      going to Thala. But the ambulance is not allowed into the town.
      Hourya goes into the town through the fields and woods. She goes to see her mother who enjoins her to
      give up Mohamed.
      Finally Hourya and Mohamed find each other by chance in the house of a martyr who died the night before.
      They spend the night making love and the next morning, Mohamed leads the resistance with the
      demonstrators on the streets. He sets up barricades in the streets but is hit by a bullet in his stomach. He
      dies in his hometown.
      That same night, the town of Thala is liberated from the Ben Ali regime, two days before January 14th.

    • Partners & financing
    • The project was granted a 172.000 € funding from the Tunisian Cinema Fund.
      The project won also the Cinemed Development grant funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
      We are looking also for postproduction funds, sales agent and distributors.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Sep 29, 2014
    • End of shooting
    • Oct 25, 2014
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