The little-known spark that helped ignite the Arab Spring is brought to light in Sami Tlili's forceful "Cursed Be the Phosphate," an awkward-sounding title for a clearly made, even elegant docu. In 2008, inhabitants of a Tunisian company-town dependent on phosphate extraction revolted against unsafe working conditions and government-supported corruption; the response from the Ben Ali regime was brutal, yet the Gafsa region temporarily withstood months of onslaught. Though unsuccessful and eclipsed by the events of 2011, the uprising exposed cracks in the dictatorship's unassailability, paving the way for popular unrest.
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