Director: Youssef Chebbi
Country: Tunisia, France

German Premiere
2022 | 92 min. | Arabic
Subtitles: German, English

Cast_ Fatma Oussaifi, Mohamed Houcine Grayaa, Rami Harrabi, Hichem Riahi, Nabil Trabelsi, Bahri Rahali Screenplay_ Youssef Chebbi, François-Michel Allegrini Camera_ Hazem Berrabah Producer_ Farès Ladjimi Rights_ The Party Film Sales

A few years after the Arab Spring, the Tunisian capital is shaken by the discovery of mysterious burn victims. A beautifully shot, stirring crime drama that brings together politics and the supernatural.

It was a public self-immolation that sparked off the Arab Spring. Of recent, a mysterious fire has again started burning in Tunis. The charred remains of a security guard are found. We are in the “Jardins de Carthage”, a district that was originally conceived for the dignitaries of the old regime. Ever since its construction was halted by the revolution of 2011, it has stood as a symbol – eerie and compelling – of all that is unfinished. Fatma, a police detective as modern as she is rebellious, takes over the investigation together with her colleague Batal. The first witness statements point to a suicide, but the detectives aren’t convinced. In parallel to their investigation, the “Truth and Dignity Commission” (an actual body that was active until 2018) are conducting an inquiry into the despotism of the old government. This leads to brutal score-settling among the police – violence is everywhere. A contemporary story of unfulfilled political hope rendered as an atmospheric, vibrant, and intoxicatingly beautiful film noir.


Youssef Chebbi is a Tunisian filmmaker and musician. ›‹Babylon‹, a documentary he co-directed about Libyan refugees in Tunisia, won the Grand Prix of the festival FID Marseille and was screened widely, including at MoMA. ›Ashkal‹ is his debut feature.


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