A Haunted Past


  • Fatma Riahi
  • Tunisia, Qatar
  • 2018
  • 90 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance

The mother of the Tunisian filmmaker Fatma Riahi offered temporary shelter to a family in need: a Bosnian woman, Marcida, who had fled with her young daughters from Sidi Bouzid to Tunis and had nowhere to live. Her husband, Tawfik, had been arrested and convicted on terrorism charges. The family was to stay with Riahi for a few days. In the end they stayed for four years, and then they disappeared. She has heard nothing from them since.

A decade later, Riahi is curious about what has happened to them, so she goes in search of the cheerful daughters who were once part of her family life. It turns out they are living with their father in Sidi Bouzid; their mother Marcida has vanished. The daughters are angry because nothing has come of their plans for the future. Their father Tawfik is even angrier. In her fascinating portrait, Riahi gradually unravels his remarkable life story and often controversial opinions. The former jihadist soldier, who has lived in Italy, Bosnia and Luxemburg, believes his family has been destroyed by the state.


  • 90 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Fatma Riahi
Al Jazeera Documentary Channel
Executive producer
Fatma Riahi
Hatem Nachi
Najwa Khechemi

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for First Appearance
IDFAcademy Summer School Editing

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IDFA history

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