Outrage among Tunisian government supporters sparks from French documentary

The airing of a French documentary titled “Between Poverty and Dictatorship, the Great Step Backwards,” which criticized President Kais Saied’s rule in Tunisia, has triggered ongoing anger directed at the participants featured in the film. This reaction persisted after Tunisian Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani highlighted the documentary during his recent visit to Paris, which coincided with the days leading up to the documentary’s broadcast on the French channel M6.

During a joint appearance with his French counterpart Gabriel Attal, Tunisian Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani unexpectedly drew considerable attention to a French documentary, diverging from other topics. The film, titled “Between Poverty and Dictatorship, the Great Step Backwards,” highlighted issues such as diminishing freedoms, economic challenges, and the plight of sub-Saharan African refugees in Tunisia. Hachani criticized the documentary as an unfriendly act by France, aiming to insult Tunisia and strain bilateral relations. However, his focus inadvertently boosted the documentary’s visibility in Tunisia, garnering over 80,000 views on YouTube and sparking divisive reactions within Tunisian media. Notably, essayist Hatem Nafti, a participant in the documentary critical of the Tunisian government, faced particularly harsh criticism.