The Silences of the Palace


Time Out says

Moufida Tlatli's remarkable debut describes the days of slavery in her native Tunisia. At 25, Alia, a singer and lute-player, who is pregnant by her boyfriend, learns of the death of Prince Sidi Ali. This prompts a visit to his palace, giving rise to memories of her own and her mother's days of service there years ago. The film captures the texture of life in the palace - its gardens, its fading opulence, the kitchens, corridors and ante-rooms, all lit crystal clear. There are scenes of group activity (dyeing, washing, dancing, singing), but the dominating mood is of the monotony and soul-threatening burden of servitude. The prince exercised his droit du seigneur: an indignity which would drive Alia's mother to near-frenzy - had not her life been so focused on the interests of her 15-year-old daughter. A most memorable account of the complex relationship between mothers and daughters suffering the distortions of injustice.


Release details

127 mins

Cast and crew

Moufida Tlatli
Moufida Tlatli
Ahmel Hedhili
Hend Sabri
Najia Ouerghi
Ghalia Lacroix
Sami Bouajila
Kamel Fazaa