Under The Fig Trees
On a hot summer day, a crew of workers - men and women, young and old - arrive at dawn at a picturesque fig orchard in northwest Tunisia. We eavesdrop, through the sun-dappled leaves of the fig trees, on the young women stealing away precious moments from the foreman's watchful gaze. Meanwhile, the older women, tasked with the careful job of packing the tender fruit, watch and reminisce together as well. They joke, argue, debate, gossip, flirt, all the while painting an unhurried but riveting portrait of everyday life in the rural society, where class, gender, and circumstance often don't allow for such personal freedoms. Set over the course of a single day, and with a cast made up of an intergenerational ensemble of non-professional actors, UNDER THE FIG TREES is "an elegant, understated tapestry of complex interactions [and] a pleasurable and immersive experience" (The Hollywood Reporter) that ultimately reveals the ways in which sisterhood itself becomes an act of resistance.
- Fide Fdhili
- Feten Fdhili
- Ameni Fdhili
- Samar Sifi
- Leila Ouhebi
- Hneya Ben Elhedi Sbahi
- Gaith Mendassi
- "Sehiri’s film is an elegant, understated tapestry of complex interactions...a pleasurable and immersive experience."
- "Tunisia’s Oscar submission is a sun-dappled gem focused on a group of teenage girls."
- "A gently appealing choral work from Tunisia with a strong understanding of rhythm and balance that marks a strong first feature for documentary-trained Erige Sehiri."
- "Set over the course of one day, Erige Sehiri’s narrative feature debut Under the Fig Trees is a thoughtful ensemble film about the group of workers in a Tunisian fig orchard."
- "Sehiri is an intelligent observer of life."
- "[An] engaging depiction of summer flirtations and gentle exploration of sisterhood against a patriarchal backdrop. "
- "[L]ove comes up again and again in Erige Sehiri’s enchanting debut, a romantic roundelay on par with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”...."
- "A minimalism to it all, a simplicity that speaks not of a lack of sophistication but of a commitment to form, to feel. The stories that bloom here are rooted in the real, jacketed in the bruised flesh of familiar harms."
- "[A] beguiling, sun-dappled drama...."
- "The film's naturalism flows like a gentle summer's breeze."
Awards & Recognition
New Directors Competition
Chicago Int'l. Film Festival
Munich Film Festival
Golden Puffin New Visions
Reykjavik Int'l. Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
Toronto Int'l. Film Festival
Karlovy Vary Film Festival
BFI London Film Festival
Philadelphia Film Festival