Raja Amari; ‘She Had A Dream’ Director On Battling Sexism And Racism In Today’s Tunisia

There have been numerous recent documentaries like Time for Ilhan, looking at Ilhan Omar, and Knock Down The House on Netflix, featuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that is about the color of the female politicians who have challenged the quo on gender and race. This article will be on Raja Amari and her latest work, She Had A Dream.

However, all the battles that are mentioned above are not just the preserve of the United States, as can be seen in the latest work of Tunisian director Raja Amari, She Had A Dream. 

It is a documentary world premiering in the frontline section of IDFA that follows 25 years old Ghofrane Binuos as she runs for office during the legislative elections in Tunisia of the year 2019.

Raja Amari | She Had A Dream
Image Source – Insider

Director Raja Amari, who is a member of the Short Film Documentary Jury of the El Gouna Film Festival, is well known for her two narrative feature movies starring Hiam Abbas: 2002’s Red Satin, in which Hiam Abbas transforms completely from housewife to cabaret star.

Raja Amari Talks About Battling Sexism and Racism In Today’s Tunisia

And the Foreign Body of the year 2016, where the Palestinian actress plays the role of a French widow who takes in an undocumented Tunisian refugee. The decision of Amari to make an observational documentary about an election campaign in Tunisia came about organically.

She says that she was talking with a production company named Cineteve, who is concerned with the social and political situation of women, and they were interested in making a movie about Tunisia.

She recalls that they are approaching the 10th Anniversary of what is called the Arab Spring by the West, and in Tunisia, it is referred to as The Revolution. At first, she wanted to tell the story of Black Women in Tunisia because she felt they are somehow forgotten.

Raja Amari | She Had A Dream
Image Source – Insider 

The film sticks with Binous’sBinous’s point of view. The documentary does not give a potted history or an overall look at Tunisian democracy; rather, it is only through Binous’sBinous’s conversations that we pick up details about democracy and elections in the country where the Arab Spring started.

It is the only North African country that made a peaceful and successful transition to a democratic parliamentary system with officials elected by the people.

None other than Michael Moore deemed this transition so successful that in his film “Where to Invade Next,” he lauded the gender parity of the Tunisian parliament and laws that enshrined women’s rights.

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