Read the fast train interview with Salem Trabelsi and Latifa Robbana Doghri about their documentary Boxing With Her.
First generation of female boxers
- It’s not as cold as I expected, laughs Salem Trabelsi.
Trabelsi and Robbana Doghri met while studying communication and French Literature together. Nowadays, they are both part of the boxing club City National Sportive. Trabelsi is still boxing and working as an instructor, and has among others Robbana Doghri's son as his student. Latifa Robbana Dohgri herself is using boxing to work out. She also helps out with the female boxers. A deep friendship and common interest for boxing resulted in this fantastically honest documentary about female boxers in Tunisia.
Being so close to the boxing environment and the women have been huge advantages with regards to making the documentary. Many of the characters needed some time before deciding if they wanted to be in the film.
– The women were skeptical in the beginning, because they are the first generation of female boxers. Once they made their decision, it was a process full of spontaneity. We have a lot of love for the women and the sport, state the directors.
Reactions have been different in various countries. The Arabian FilmDays festival is the third festival outside Tunisia screening the movie. - It was accepted in a good way in Doha, USA, and Oslo. However, reactions were different in Tunisia. People were surprised because they didn’t even know that female boxers existed, says Trabelsi. He also points out that many Tunisian people think that boxing is not for women.
However, the film is not just about boxing. – These women are ambassadors for boxing, but also for female courage. They can be idols for women all over the world, say the directors. They underline that the film shows new and different side of women in Africa. – We didn’t expect it to be so popular, but we are quite excited.
Want Norwegian cooperation
Boxing With Her is the duo’s debut. In the future, they would like to make a co-production with Norwegian contacts. – We want to cooperate with Norwegian groups and filmmakers, say the directors.
They have funded their debut film all by themselves.
As for their stay in Norway, they have high expectations. – It’s a great pleasure to be here. It’s another world, and a culture that is very different from the Tunisian one, says Trabelsi.