The film goes beyond the realm of straight music documentary. On one level, it follows the personal journey undertaken by Belhassine as she gets to grips with her roots. On another, it is rich family saga complete with impossible love affairs, family splits, regrets and, in the end, reconciliation. It is also a portrait of Tunisian history over the past century, from French rule to the Arab Spring – which the country kicked off – told through its entertainers and intellectuals.”
Melanie Goodfellow - Screen International
Tunisia, UK, Qatar / English / 2017 / 86 mins
Genre: Creative Documentary
Interests: Culture, Family, History, Identity, Music, Tunisia
An amazing story of love and family, celebrity and music.
A portrait of Hedi Jouini, the godfather of Tunisian music.
Hedi Jouini is the most popular musical star in Tunisian history, known as the “Frank Sinatra of Tunisia”. His songs continue to inspire revolutionaries and conservatives alike, striking at the heart of the post-colonial social and political upheaval of Tunisia and its continuing search for identity in the wake of the Arab Spring. But why did he keep his fame hidden from his family? What dark secrets did he keep from the nation that worshipped him? ‘The Man Behind the Microphone’ reveals the incredible story behind a man and his music, and offers fascinating insight into Tunisia’s cultural evolution. The film builds a profound portrait of the godfather of Tunisian music – father to a nation yet not to his family.