A Common Enemy

- SPAIN, TUNISIA / 2013 / Arabic, French / Color / Blu-ray / 78 min

Director, Script: Jaime Otero Romani
Photography: Ignacio de Vicente
Editing: Diana Toucedo
Producers: Cristina Bodelon, Jaime Otero Romani
Source: Jaime Otero Romani

Following the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime, Tunisia held elections for a constitutional assembly in September 2011. Party after party announced their candidacy in the country’s first substantial election in 23 years. Originally, the movement for an election had developed as a movement against the former regime, but gradually it devolved into disputes between Islamic and secular political factions. Watching the Tunisian election, we catch a partial glimpse of the current state of affairs in North Africa and the Middle East.

-[Director’s Statement] Tunisia is a small country, where people know each other and don’t fear associating themselves, not only to fight against any kind of tyranny, but also for the sake of sharing values and beliefs in order to build a better society.

However, nowadays Tunisia is a polarized country with two clear counterparts. When we started to show this movie to members of each sector of society, we were surprised by the fact that both factions reacted in the same way—we were congratulated for being able to depict reality in a truthful manner but they also alerted us that the other faction would be really disappointed with the film. This was initially reassuring, as this film was always intended to truthfully portray the story of the Tunisian post-revolution, and of the people who shared their lives with us during that crucial moment.

Yet, it was also worrying to realize that both parties still don’t fully understand each other, which is the ultimate goal of this film—building the required empathy to abandon the human need for creating enemies as the main way of alignment.

- Jaime Otero Romani

Born 1983 in Toronto. In 2009 Jaime Otero Romani directed and produced the documentary Nano Caste: The New Indian Middle Class, filmed entirely in India and honored at the We the Peoples Film Festival in London. He had previously directed the short film The Box (2008) and the music video Lluvia (2008) for TCAP Leviatán. His latest credits as executive producer include the feature-length films The Vampire in the Hole (2011), Vulnerable (2011), and Thirty Lights (in post-production).