Railway Men

Documentary by Erige Sehiri

75 minutes – 2018

Original Title


French Title

La Voie Normale


On a road trip, Ahmed a train conductor is torn between his loyalty to the old Tunisian railway company and his personal aspirations, while Fitati, his colleague, chooses to become a whistleblower on train accidents.


Co-production with

Nomadis Images (Tunisie)
Les Films de Zayna (France)
Al Jazeera Documentary (Quatar)
with the support of Doha Film Institute (Qatar)

Awards & festivals 

29. Festival Traces de Vies, Clermont-Ferrand, 2019
17. Festival des Cinémas d’Afrique du Pays d’Apt, 2019
30. Festival du Film Arabe de Fameck, 2019, Prix du documentaire
Docpoint, Helsinki, 2019, Official selection
10. Filmer le travail, Poitier, 2019, Audience Award
31. Idfa, Amsterdam 2018, Section Frontlight
39. Cinemad, Montpeller 2018, Competition, Special Mention
44. Visions du Réel, 2018, Compétition, Section Burning Lights


Line no 1 is dubbed THE NORMAL WAY by the Tunisian rail workers because it is the only one built respecting the international standards. Ironically, it is also the most neglected and rundown. Accidents happens all the time putting both passengers’ and workers’ lives at stake. Driving the old locomotives, Ahmed, Afef, Issam, Abee and Najib are the protagonists and the witnesses of a difficult transformation process that from the Tunisian railways invests the whole of Tunisian post-revolutionary society. Each one of them tries hard to find a new place in a society that struggles to create a democratic way of existing. Tackling incompetence and corruption, the film celebrates dignity, hope and resilience.



Nabi HOUJI, Ahmed MOURAD KHANFIR, Afef MOKBLI, Issameddine FITATI, Sadek KHANFIR, Abderrahim AOUIJ akka Abee.


Written and directed by:  Erige SEHIRI
Production: Palmyre Badinier (Akka Films), Dora Bouchoucha (Nomadis Images)
Cinematography: Aissa AMINE, Erige SEHIRI, Ikbal ARAFA, Hassene AMRI, Ahmed Mourad KHANFIR
Editing: Katja DRINGENBERG in collaboration with Hafedh LAARIDHI and Ghalya LACROIX
Location Sound Mix:  Aymen TOUMI, Karim GUEMIRA, Pascal JACQUET, Mohamed Nouri LASSOUED
Music: Omar ALOULOU
Sound design: Morten Green
Sound Mix: Martin STRICKER