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SUN OF THE HYENAS

Tunisia / Netherlands, 1977 (MIFF 1979)

Director: Ridha Behi

This film, like Nicholas Ray's The Savage Innocents, deals with a traditional communal culture confronted by new technological expansion. Mutual integration and the co-existence of the two forms of society is presented, through satire, as an impossibility.

The story follows Tahar, one of the village fishermen. His wife has died while he was at sea, and the scene of the funeral provides a portrait of the traditional village life-style. This is soon threatened by the arrival of German financiers preparing to erect a tourist resort. Tahar and a few friends attempt to hold on to the old ways, but many of the fishermen begin work constructing the hotel. Haj Ibrahim, a wealthy villager, in league with the politicians of the area, aid the tourist expansion.

Village life becomes more and more oppressed, until Tahar leads a group against Haj Ibrahim, destroying his supply of fish crates. The rebellion is ineffectual, and Tahar is jailed. More of the villagers are bought off by the businessmen. . .

Grand Prix, Prades. Jury Prize, Gabourg.

Ridha Behi

Born: 1947. Concurrently with his studies in Sociology, made short films. Sun of the Hyenas (1977) is his first feature.

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