Born 1944 in Tunisia, she developed a taste for cinema during her high school years thanks to her philosophy teacher who ran a film club. She then went to France to study filmmaking and graduated from the IDHEC film school in 1968. Before returning to Tunisia in 1972, she worked in France in both ORTF and INA. As a film editor, her name was credited in some of the most important Arab films between the 1970s and 1990s including Omar Gatlatou (1976) by Merzak Allouache, Aziza (1980) by Abdel-Latif Ben Ammar and Halfaouine (1990) by Férid Boughedir. In 1994, she co-wrote and directed her first narrative film Silence of the Palaces that received critical acclaim and won several awards including Cannes Film Festival's Golden Camera, Carthage’s Golden Tanit, British Film Institute Awards' Sutherland Trophy, Toronto’s International Critics' Award and Istanbul's Golden Tulip. Her second film, The Season of Men was screened in Un Certain Regard section at Cannes Film Festival 2000. Tlatli was jury member in elite festivals like Cannes, Carthage, Rotterdam and Valencia. She is currently preparing a new long narrative film called Small Hands.