Ain’t No Time For Women

A documentary set inside a salon in Tunis on the eve of the 2019 Tunisian presidential election, the second ever held in this new democracy. The hairdressers debate each other and their clients on the issues of the day and the merits of the candidates.

I love that this is set within a hairdressers. The sexist viewpoint of salons has always relegated their portrayal as places of female vanity and trivial or destructive female gossip. Instead, in this short film, we see the salon as a community space for women, one where they discuss the biggest political issues.

Women share stories of protest and resistance, their participation in the Arab Spring, and their contribution to their democracy. The old debate the young, showing differences between new voters who take a democratic status quo for granted, versus those who have lived through tyranny. The rise in popularity of the conservative religious party’s candidate is treated with suspicion, fearing it might herald a reversal of women’s rights, in a place where gains are still recent and precious.

For a short film, it fits so much in in just a small time. Substantive work.