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Angel on the Right

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About the Inititative

Comprehensive list of all titles in the Global Lens collection.

Global Lens 2006
Global Lens 2005
Global Lens 2004/2003

- Angel On The Right
- Khorma
- Mango Yellow
- Margarette's Feast
- Nothing More
- Rachida
- Shadow Kill
- Ticket To Jerusalem
- Women's Prison
- Wretched Lives

 
 

Khorma a film by Jilani Saadi

Tunisia, 2002 (90 minutes)

Synopsis

Residing in Bizerte, a small Tunisian provincial town, Khorma is a young orphan whose red hair and white skin give him a striking appearance. He is under the protection of Bou Khaleb, who treats Khorma like a son. Bou Khaleb teaches him his philosophies on life and trains him to become a professional announcer of marriages, births, and deaths.

Bou Khaleb and Khorma disagree on one issue: Bou Khaleb believes that while working in the service of God, they should accept whatever money people offer them, while Khorma wants to fix a price for their services. But as long as he is under Bou Khaleb’s authority, Khorma accepts his role without protest.

One day, Bou Khaleb, having grown deaf, makes an enormous error: he announces the death of a woman instead of her daughter’s marriage. As chance would have it, this same woman actually dies three days later and Bou Khaleb is accused of spreading misfortune. As he falls into a state of senile dementia, Hadj Khalifa, the wise man of the neighborhood, decides that Khorma should be Bou Khaleb’s replacement. Hadj Khalifa is working under the presumption that Khorma will be easy to manipulate.

Khorma takes his new role very seriously. He decides to re-create his image and to reorganize all the people who work at the cemetery. He employs Kamel as his right hand, and together, they increase the prices of death services.

Although Khorma’s intelligence surprises everybody, he is severely criticized by the cemetery’s visitors, as well as the whole city. Khorma’s relationships sour and anger among the people rises.

One night, during a reception that Khorma organizes to ensure his notoriety and assure his protection from the neighborhood, Khorma gets caught red-handed serving alcohol and encouraging other inexcusable acts. The city decides to teach Khorma a lesson. They forcibly take him to the seashore, where they strip him and then tie him to a post, cover him in a honey-like substance and abandon him to the mosquitoes.

At dawn, Kamel frees his friend. For a moment, he thinks Khorma is dead, until Khorma unexpectedly stands up and starts dancing, in celebration of his freedom and his life.

About the Director

Born on February 6, 1962, Jilani Saadi comes from Bizerte, a harbor city in northern Tunisia and the setting for his latest film, Khorma. Though both his father and grandfather worked as longshoremen, he immigrated to Paris at the age of 20 in order to study cinematography. Ten years later, Saadi dedicated himself to screenwriting. He directed his first short film, Marchandage Nocturne in 1994, and his second short, Café-Hôtel de l’Avenir, in 1997. Khorma is his first feature film.

 

 
 
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