Man of Ashes | Chicago Reader

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This powerful 1986 film challenges the traditional, family-centered values of Tunisia. Hachemi, a young man whose family is preoccupied with preparations for his impending marriage, grows increasingly troubled after some graffiti accuses his friend Farfat of being “less than a man” and Farfat's father throws him out. As Hachemi becomes reluctant to marry, director Nouri Bouzid intersperses wedding preparations with tormented flashbacks in which Hachemi remembers that as boys both he and Farfat were raped by a local carpenter. The juxtaposition favors the urgency of private trauma over social obligation and exposes the hypocrisy of a small town that condemns homosexuality while harboring a pedophile.

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