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A Revolution in Four Seasons (2016)

This seminal film tells the story of two women with opposing political views fighting for their different versions of a democratic future for Tunisia, the country that sparked the Arab ...

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This seminal film tells the story of two women with opposing political views fighting for their different versions of a democratic future for Tunisia, the country that sparked the Arab Spring. Over the course of Tunisia's critical post-revolution years, we follow journalist Emna Ben Jemaa, who envisions a country governed by free speech and without the corruption of the former regime. In contrast, Jawhara Ettis of the Islamist party Ennahda works towards a Tunisia guided by Islamic principles. On a public level, both women must navigate how females are treated in their society, while in their own homes they must make difficult choices to balance their public political roles with marriage and motherhood. Both know the stakes are high. The ever-present threat of Islamic extremists means their fragile political process could break down and all they've worked for could be lost. - Heather Haynes (Hot Docs)

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One flower does not make a spring.

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30 March 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cztery lata rewolucji  »

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A fragile democracy in Tunisia
19 March 2017 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

A Revolution in Four Seasons (2016) was produced and directed by Jessie Deeter. It's an interesting documentary about Tunisia after the Arab Spring. The film is loaded with information about Tunisian politics since 2011. However, director Deeter has chosen to focus on two remarkable women. Both women are courageous, capable, and self-sacrificing. You would be proud to know either of them. The problem is that they are at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

One, Jawhara Ettis, is an official in Ennahda, the Islamist party. She sees Tunisia as a democracy, but guided by Islamic principles. (Perhaps like Pakistan.) The other, Emna Ben Jemaa, is a leader in the opposition secular party. She sees Tunisia as a democracy, guided by free speech and open debate. (Perhaps like France, or Sweden, as she tells us.)

The movie shows us what each woman did to support her cause, and the cause of democracy, over the next four years. It's not easy being a woman in a patriarchal society, and it's not easy being a mother and wife when you're a political activist. Seeing how each woman copes is what makes the film satisfying, yet somewhat sad.

The Tunisian political situation is complicated and volatile. There is the continuous threat of police violence and terrorist violence. A coup is always a possibility (although it hasn't happened as I write this review in March, 2017).

We saw this movie at the wonderful Little Theatre in Rochester, NY, as part of their Women's History Month Film Series. The movie will work well on the small screen if you can't see it in a theater. My suggestion is to find it and see it.


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