Exclusive: Poster & Trailer for Tunisian Supernatural Thriller ASHKAL
With a slightly new title, Ashkal: The Tunisian Investigation, this eeri mystery was something of a sleeper hit on the festival circuit in 2022. We're seeing a rise in more genre.leaning work coming from MENA countries; considering the rich folkloric traditions of the cultures of the area, as well as recent history, it's an area beginning a renaissence in this area of filmmaking.
Filmmaker Youssef Chebi has crafted a minimalist and disturbing story, of two detectives (one man, one woman, and that comes with a politics of its own) trying to solve a series of violent deaths in an semi-empty area of the capital. In my own review last year, I wrote, " [The film is] a deft combination of neo-noir and the fantastic ... its story moves like shadow through the flames that greet the characters, its confrontation simultaneous cold and searing, right to the skin."
Set amongst derelict, half-finished apartment complexes of a former regime, the discovery of a mysterious burnt body by two police officers reveals a puzzling repetition of events. As the investigation progresses, a network of violence and corruption is uncovered throughout the city.
Ashkal: The Tunisian Investigation is out in theaters on August 18th, followed by an August 22nd on demand via Yellow Veil Pictures. Check out the poster and trailer below.