Those Who Remain

  • France 
  • Belgium 
  • Italy 
Audio Tracks 

Om El Khir is a real fighter. Her husband has disappeared. One morning, he left on a boat for Europe and she has since received no evidence on whether he is dead or alive. Alone with her three children, in her empty and white apartment in the surroundings of Tunis, she bravely takes charge of a day-to-day life changed forever by the absence of her husband. But Om El Khir does not give up. Alongside 503 other Tunisian women (mainly the mothers of the disappeared), she is in search for the truth, fighting so that these men do not fall into oblivion and rallying for justice to be done. The account of Om El Khir’s story by Ester Sparatore oscillates between her private life and her fight alongside the other women, two aspects of her life that have become interdependent. By constantly staying as close as possible to this dramatic figure, the filmmaker documents the birth of a new problematic and political space of protest. The story of these Tunisian women, present-day Antigone, shifts our perspective and reveals that the disappeared are now the victims of a Europe that has become a fortress.

Madeline Robert (Visions du Réel)




  • Original title
    Celles qui restent
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Ester Sparatore
  • DOP
    Matteo Vieille Rivara
  • Editing
    Nadia Touijer
  • Sound
    Ester Sparatore, Emmanuel Soland, Jonathan Vanneste
  • Duration
    91 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • France
    • Belgium
    • Italy
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • Visions du réel festival 2019
    • Biografilm Festival 2019
    • Sole Luna Festival 2019
    • Ortigia Film Festival 2019
    • Terra di Tutti Film Festival 2019
    • Alice e le altre 2019
  • Awards
    • Biografilm Festival 2019 - Biografilm Italia Best Film Award
    • Ortigia Film Festival 2019 - Special Mention for Direction
    • Terra di Tutti Film Festival 2019 - Coop Alleanza 3.0 - Voci di donne invisibili Award
    • MedFilmFestival 2019 - Le perle - Alla scoperta del nuovo cinema italiano is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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