Cursed be the Phosphate
Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates
Producers: Dora Bouchouca, Habib Attia
Production Company: Nomadis Images, Cinetelefilms
In 2008, inhabitants of a Tunisian company-town dependent on phosphate extraction revolted against unsafe working conditions and government-supported corruption; the response from the Ben Ali regime was brutal, yet the Gafsa region temporarily withstood months of onslaught. Though unsuccessful and eclipsed by the events of 2011, the uprising exposed cracks in the dictatorship’s unassailability, paving the way for popular unrest.
Sami Tlili was born in Kairouan, Tunisia. A university lecturer in Sousse, he teaches art history, francophone literature and African cinema. Tlili is a former active member of the cine-clubs in the Tunisian Federation of Amateur Filmmakers (FTCA). He has directed three short films selected and awarded in several international independent festivals. Cursed Be the Phosphate is his first feature length documentary.