Le Challat de Tunis France, Tunisia 2013 – 90min.
Le Challat de Tunis
Tunis, before the revolution. There is an odd rumor going around about a man on a motorcycle who, armed with a razor, slashes the buttocks of women crossing his path whom he considers incorrectly dressed. The call him Le Challat, "The Blade". 10 years later, the revolution has passed and people are beginning to talk. A young director decides to investigate the mysterious case of The Blade of Tunis by interviewing his victims – as well as a few suspects.
Is this a real documentary? An incisive parody? A political pamphlet? The answer is yes, and more. Based on a 2003 news story that became an urban legend, director Kaouther Ben Hania has made an unclassifiable film, both funny and terrifying, light and tragic, inspiring the audience to laugh, cry and want to revolt. Because her approach is so unusual, a maze of fiction injected with truth (or even the other way around) with a wide variety of characters, the director, who plays “herself”, offers up an off-the-wall investigation of a monster who incorporates all the contradictions and traditions of a country in the midst of change. This striking and entertaining movie is very interesting and dense, a perfect example of liberated cinema that refuses to be labeled.