Un été à La Goulette (A Summer in La Goulette) (1996)

In La Goulette, a small harbour town in the Tunis suburbs, Youssef, the Muslim, Jojo, the Tunisian Jew, and Giuseppe, the Sicilian Catholic, are as inseparable as their three 16-year-old daughters, Meriem, Gigi and Tina. In a fit of provocation the three girls all swear that they’ll lose their virginity on the day of the feast of the Madonna, each with a boy from a religion different to hers ! Once this taboo is brought out into the open, all three families fall out. But the friendship between the three fathers is so strong that it reconciles them, closer than ever before… until the eve of the Israel-Arab Six Day War in 1967 that forces apart Jews and Arabs all over the world.

… Boughedir manages to avoid facile humanist notions … through the very sensuality of his gaze that was already in evidence in the beatiful “Halfaouine”. It is not only politically interesting to see modern, scantily-clad, sex-obsessed young women in an “Arab film” but they are, moreover, beautifully filmed by a director who knows how to pay tribute to their beauty without resorting to seedy voyeurism. Boughedir is equally at ease with the bright colours of La Goulette (white alleys, blue skies, furniture, hangings, etc.) and the hubbub of its populace… “A Summer in La Goulette” therefore charms more by its subsidiary documentary aspect than by its necessary fiction ; but Boughedir tackles this with a genuine pictorial talent, along with an undeniable sense of space and place… (Serge Kaganski – Les Inrockuptibles)