Frequesntly Asked Questions
WHAT INSPIRED THE VISION OF THIS FILM?
Saint Augustine of Hippo was put on H.J. Aoun’s heart in 2010. Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis (St. Augustine) is one of the greatest philosophers of all time, shaping the Western world to what it is today. St. Augustine is widely renowned, especially for his work, “Confessions,” which is acclaimed as the first Western autobiography ever written. But H.J. Aoun realized Augustine’s fame does not reach to his heritage; it seems to be a well-kept secret that Augustine is a North African of Berber origin.
Indeed, Augustine is historically considered a national hero in both Algeria and Tunisia. Augustine was born in Algeria, and it is where he returned to serve God. He spent his youth and early adulthood in Tunisia. Putting this together, Aoun got the vision to create a film that would bring to light and celebrate Augustine’s heritage as well as share his story of seeking truth.
HOW DID THIS PROJECT DEVELOP?
“Augustine: Son of Her Tears” took six years to complete from start to initial release.
North Africans led every part of the project: acting, directing, producing, writing, etc. It is the first film in history to have production led entirely by North Africans to tell the story of the North African philosopher, St. Augustine. Contributors include:
- Story by: Dr. Imed Dabbour
- Historical advisor: Moez Madiouni
- Produced by: CTV and Mr. Abdel Aziz Ben Mlouka
Both Tunisian and Algerian governments have endorsed the film and have become partners in production, for which we are so grateful! They rendered practical support and resources to heighten the film’s quality.
It is also the only movie about St. Augustine to be filmed on location where Augustine spent his life. Portraying St. Augustine’s story meant production in Algeria, Tunisia and also Italy, where Augustine was educated.
On October 29th, 2016 the movie was pre-premiered at the Carthage Film Festival in Carthage, Tunisia. Offered as a Pre-Screening by Tunisia’s Ministry of Culture, the film “Augustine: Son of Her Tears” was chosen to have a special exhibition in honor of the international film festival’s 50th anniversary. The film was also privately shown in Sfax, Tunisia in celebration of Sfax being the 2016 Capital of Culture of the Arab World. It has since been edited for international distribution.
WHAT IS THE KEY THEME OF THE FILM?
The film has multiple underlying subjects in the storyline, but the pursuit of truth is the most crucial one. The film shows Hedi researching Augustine’s life and coming across Augustine’s earnest search for answers throughout his youth and into adulthood. Augustine sought contentment by satisfying his lust, which ended up entangling him in a scandalous love affair with a slave. We also see Augustine try to honor his parents, who greatly sacrificed for his education, by becoming an elite orator, but he was no closer to a sense of fulfilment from either venture. Augustine’s family members and friends introduce him to different ideologies, which he tests until he finds one that brings him true peace and redefines who he is. Without this search for truth, St. Augustine would not be the historical hero we know today.
WHO PLAYS THE GREATEST ROLE IN ST. AUGUSTINE’S LIFE?
Undoubtedly, Augustine’s mother, Monica, played an immense role in his life. Although Augustine’s own father ridiculed and abused his mother both physically and mentally, she remained steadfast in her convictions. Augustine is the “Son of Her Tears” because Monica saw a brighter future for him and continually prayed for him to find the right path. Her faith led her to live a moral life that greatly contrasted his immoral and illegal activity. She never gave up on her son, and she was the one stable anchor in his life.