Biografie Fitouri Belhiba


Born in 1950 in the southern Tunisian town of Zarzis and influenced by his family’s  oral traditions with stories being passed down from generation to generation, Fitouri Belhiba started up as a stage actor before moving on to making short films, documentaries and feature films in the 1970s. After moving to France, he co-founded the production company “Filfil Films” in Strasbourg. Operating under the slogan “du piment dans les images” (Spice up the Images), the company’s website reveals its promise, which is to produce “engaging cinema…  with a collective approach to work… about the relationship between North and South… based on people’s memories… with a clear point of view”. Fitouri Belhiba’s films certainly play to these rules as they deal with the societal conditions in Tunisia and in his adopted home of France and the interdependency of the two countries. His first award-winning feature film “Coeur nomade” (Wandering Heart) from 1990 depicts a Muslim woman’s attempt to liberate herself from social constraints. In “Effet miroir” (Mirror Effect) from 1998, he reflects upon our behaviour and attitude towards foreigners. “L’ombre sacrée des arbres” (In the Sacred Shade of Trees) from 2001 documents the intellectual dialogue between a French ethnologist and writer and the director about three trees from his native South Tunisia. In “Brillant pas brulant” young immigrants assume the role of reporters and describe life in France’s city suburbs. “Sacrées bouteilles” tells the story of a Tunisian postal worker who makes works of art from objects that have been washed up on the beach, in the process transforming his garden into an open-air museum, and who emerges as a multilingual philosopher when put in front of the camera. Without doubt the most popular short film and documentary of the 2008 African film festival in Cologne, it was again screened in 2010, an event which the director also attended. Fitouri Belhiba was also there to present his documentary “Mémoires vives” (History Being Made), which he made in collaboration with Jean-Marie Fawer. It shows the making of the hip hop musical “A nos morts” (The Forgotten Liberators) about colonial soldiers in the French army, and was the closing film and highlight of the 2010 festival in Cologne.

Born in Zarzis, a town in the South of Tunisia, Fitouri Belhiba starts his career as an actor at the local theatre. In the 1970s he went for realising shorts, documentaries and fictions. While living in French exile he founded the production company «Filfil Films». In October 2010 he visited our festival «Out of Europe XI» in Cologne and in December he went back to Tunisia to collect more information, films and videos about the rebellion, which led to the overthrow of Ben Alis dictatorship. He will participate in the debat on perspectives of the democratic movements in North Africa and give an introduction to the Tunisian classic Soleil des Hyènes, a neorealistic drama from 1977, which he proposed for this program.

Filmografie (Auswahl) zu Fitouri Belhiba

Regie, Kamera

Regie, Drehbuch, Kamera