The Silences of the Palace (Samt el qusur)

Director: Moufida Tlatli
Countries: Tunisia
Year: 1994
Running Time: 128 min.
Language: Arabic and French


The Silence of the Palace is the story of the daughter of a beautiful servant Khedija, named Alia. As Alia, grows up in the Kings Palace at the end of the French colonial rule in Tunisia, she realizes the sexual favors required of her mother and other servants.

About the Director

Moufida Tlatli

Biography: Moufida Tlatli was born and raised in Tunisia in a tradition-oriented family. It was in high school, thanks to her philosophy teacher, who ran a film club, that she developed a taste for the cinema. After graduating from the IDHEC film school in 1968, in the editing department, she went back to live in Tunisia in 1972. Her name appears on the credits of some of the most important Arab film from 1970 to 1990.

Moufida Tlatli is one of a rare breed: an Arab woman film director. She first came to international attention in 1994 when her first film, The Silences of the Palace, won prizes at the Cannes Film Festival’s Golden Camera, the Golden Tanit of Carthage, British Film Institute Awards’ Sutherland Trophy, Toronto Film Festival’s International Critics’ Award and Istanbul International Film Festival’s Golden Tulip. Her second film, The Season of Men, was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and has extended her reputation as a rare instance of a strong female voice in Arab cinema.

Following the downfall of president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 she was appointed Minister of Culture in the provisional government.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Silence of the Palace (1995).

The Silence of the Palace (1994);
The Season of Men (2000);
Nadia and Sarra (2004).