Tarak Ben Ammar's film will be about Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire in protest of unemployment and lack of freedom in Tunisia
A Tunisian producer plans to film a political thriller about the street vendor who set off the events that led to the ongoing Jasmine Revolution in that country.
The producer, Tarak Ben Ammar, said on Monday he is financing the film himself, and he hopes to work with the family of Mohamed Bouazizi, who has become an iconic figure in Tunisia. Proceeds for the film will go to the family, he said.
"Mohamed Bouazizi has become a hero for us as Tunisians and the Arab world as a whole. He performed the ultimate self-sacrifice and in doing so he opened up the eyes and heart of a nation to the injustice all around them. What’s more, he did that by sacrificing himself, not by hurting anyone else," Ben Ammar said in a statement. "His story is one that needs to be preserved for future generations to understand that one person can make a difference. "
He plans to film the movie entirely in Tunisia, and hopes to hold its world premiere will be at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
Ben Ammar launched Nessma TV in 2008 as the first private and independent satellite channel catering to North Africa. Authorities in Tunisia threatened to shut down Nessma after it aired a report on demonstrations in Sidi Bouzid.
He also co-produced Rachid Bouchareb’s Oscar-nominated film "Outside the Law," which recounts the Algerian struggle for independence again French colonialism.