IN THE LAND OF TARARANNI + Q&A with curator Joseph Fahim
Férid Boughedir, Hamouda Ben Halima, and Hédi Ben Khalifa | Tunisia | 1973 | 120 min
No other book has been as popular and influential as Ali Douagi’s short collection, “Sahart meno al layali” (Sleepless Nights). Widely regarded as the father of the Tunisian story, Tunisia’s greatest satirist captured the zeitgeist of the pre-independence period with smartness and wit that endured over subsequent decades. This anthology film – directed by Férid Boughedir, Hamouda Ben Halima, and Hédi Ben Khalifa – is comprised of three stories set in the 1930s. In ‘The Lamppost’ a hairdresser meets a mysterious veiled stranger alone under a street lamp; in ‘The Visit’ an unhappy wife complains to her mother about mistreatment by her habitually drunk husband; and in ‘Picnic’ a man shares anecdotes from his rocky marriage over a lunch with a friend. Rarely seen outside Tunisia, In the Land of Tararanni is among the handful of Tunisian literary adaptations made at the first creative peak of Tunisian cinema; an analytical look at a dysfunctional society that superbly balances bitterness and ire with charm and humour.
We will be screening two of the three stories in the showing, amending the running time to 80 minutes. Due to technical difficulties beyond our control, ‘The Visit’ is unfortunately unable to be shown.