Hichem Ben Ammar
Tunisia | 2002 | 44 min
Language : Arabic
Subtitle : English
Cap Bon peninsula, Tunisia. The camera of Hichem Ben Ammar films trap-net tuna fishing, turning the work into a magical and cruel ritual. Beauty and violence, like life and death, are presented in the same sequence. A timeless, captivating film in both form and content, Raïs Labhar evokes the richness and complexity of Mediterranean culture, framed between dizziness and poetry.
Cap Bon peninsula, Tunisia. Sounds, reflections and lights appear suddenly out of the dark of the night. Then the sun rises. Accompanied by the wind that sets the wind farms in motion, it reveals land and stone: man is facing the force of these elements which, through his hard labour, enable him to survive. When the camera of Hichem Ben Ammar heads towards the sea and films trap-net tuna fishing, an ancient and complex practice handed down by Tunisian fishermen through the generations, their work takes on the appearance of a ritual that is at once magic and cruel. Ben Ammar shows us beauty and violence, like life and death, rubbing shoulders in the same sequence. Then the fishermen gather for the “matanza”, the ritual of killing the tuna, a sort of collective experience that comes close to trance. A film that goes beyond time, surprising and captivating in both form and content, Raïs Labhar reveals the richness and complexity of Mediterranean culture through the work of man. It shows us life, framed between dizziness and poetry.