Under the Fig Trees
For young female farm workers, long workdays in the fields are a way to help their families, to be together and to escape the monotony of country life. They always find a way to have fun—sometimes at the expense of others, especially older workers. The fig orchard becomes a theatre of emotions, where relationships to work, love, friendship and the land are played out.
Ghalya Lacroix, Hafedh Laridhi
Fide Fdhili, Feten Fdhili, Ameni Fdhili, Samar Sifi, Leila Ouhebi, Hneya Ben Elhedi Sbahi, Gaith Mendassi, Abdelhak Mrabti, Fedi Ben Achour, Firas Amri
Henia Production (Tunisia)
Akka Films (Switzerland)
Maneki Films (France)
Fiorella Moretti, Hédi Zardi
For my debut fiction feature, I have chosen to recreate a world that is rarely represented in cinema: that of the agricultural worker. I drew on my experience as a documentary filmmaker and began by looking for subjects, faces, testimonies and places. Very quickly, the need to work with non-professional actors imposed itself and drove the film's guiding principle: to tell the story of a single day's work from dawn to sunset. The film is essentially made up of sketches in the orchard, as in a stage play—the orchard is the only setting; here, everything happens, everything is said, and it is here that the film’s subjects enter and leave the field. I pay particular attention to the natural light that makes the viewer feel the day passing. I hope to give my subjects and their world the authenticity that I seek and that is absolutely essential to me, and I have great hopes of making a film that will make a poetic contribution to Tunisian cinema.
Based in Tunis, French-Tunisian director and producer Erige Sehiri situates workers with invisible destinies at the heart of her films. In 2018, she directed the documentary Railway Men (2018) with Tunisian railway workers, testifying to their daily struggle against the failures of the national railways. The film was selected for Visions du Réel and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, and won a Jury Mention at CINEMED and the Audience Award at the Festival Filmer le Travail in Poitiers in 2019. Sehiri produces films through her company Henia Production, which develops creative documentaries and supports young directors' projects in particular. She recently co-founded Rawiyat–Sisters in Film, a collective of women filmmakers from the Arab world.
June-September 2020 and September 2021, Tunisia
Distributor, music composer, TV broadcaster