Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Blog

By Raouia Briki

Summer 2013 Intern

 Two years ago, American producer Jessie Deeter and Tunisian-born editor Sara Maamouri partnered together and started filming right after the January 2011 events in Tunisia. As events unfold there, they are capturing the evolutions in Tunisia's political landscape in an upcoming documentary film, Tunisia 2.0. 

Tunisia 2.0 is a documentary in-the making. The documentary captures Tunisian unity at the beginning of the revolution as people came together against their common enemy: the dictatorship, as well as the friction between different views of democracy amongst Tunisian youth. It follows the changes in Tunisian politics and society through the eyes of two young Tunisians, Bassem Bouguerra and Jawhara Ettis, from different political and social spheres.

Bassem Bouguerra left behind a decade of living in Silicon Valley and a career as a Yahoo software engineer and flew back to Tunisia where he started the “Tunisian Institutional Reform"(TIR)”, an organization for police institutions’ reform. Jawhara Ettis’s life changed drastically, from a university English teacher to a member of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) representing the Islamist party, Al-Nahdha. Jessie Deeter’s camera captures the progress of the lives of both subjects starting from the beginning of the revolution until after the October 2011 elections.  The film follows daily lives of Ettis and Bouguerra, emphasizing their daily struggle for democracy and freedom. In doing so, it uncovers forgotten scenes of people chanting for victory and freedom in Tunisian streets.

The idea for a film featuring the new Tunisia was born of Deeter’s eagerness combined with Maamouri’s love for the country. When asked about her inspiration for the documentary and her interest in the region, Deeter explained that she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in the 90s, and that she had already traveled in Tunisia and was very familiar with its language and culture before she began this film.  Deeter added that she was moved when Tunisia was the first country in the region to say "We've had enough!”  “We felt incredibly lucky to be living in North Africa and the Middle East when all of these momentous historical events happened and to be able to experience the Arab Spring in real time,” she added.

The filmmakers will continue following Bouguerra and Ettis until the next presidential elections. After its completion, the documentary will then be screened both in Tunisia and the US.  Click here to support the film and see updates about the project.

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