The three-part documentary series “Fleeing Carthage” tells the full story of the last hours before the fall of the Tunisian regime and the fleeing of former president Zine ElAbedine Ben Ali.
“Fleeing Carthage”, to be screened shortly on Al Arabiya which produced the documentary, tackles the threats Ben Ali faced following the massive protests that demanded his ouster and which forced him to run away. The facts presented in the documentary are based on classified documents as well as reports of interrogations with several Tunisian officials whether politicians or army officers.
More than 30 actors and actresses took part in the film through reenacting the events as recounted by their real protagonists.
In the first stage of the preparations for the documentary, an Al Arabiya team worked on analyzing and sorting the documents and reports that give insight into the last few hours of Ben Ali’s rule then rewriting them in a dramatic form.
Filming was assigned to a highly-qualified group of Tunisians who worked in the cinema and TV industry and who managed to have the film ready in a record time.
The documentary was shot in grounds of the Carthage International Airport and its control tower, the presidential palace in Carthage, the Ministry of Interior, and several neighborhoods in the capital Tunis.
“Fleeing Carthage” is the second in a series of documentaries Al Arabiya is making about Tunisia. The first was “The Time of Bourguiba”, which recounts the history and achievements of the late Tunisian president and national icon Habib Bourguiba.
The first film depended more on historical documents and testimonies by Bourguiba’s contemporaries while the second adopts the style of news drama and depends on presenting news stories in a dramatic form in a way that mixes factual accuracy with artistic techniques.
“Fleeing from Carthage” is written by Mohammed al-Hadi and directed by Madih Balaid.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)