[Videolib] VHS Kahloucha

Katherine Pourshariati (kpoursha@mc3.edu)
Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:08:23 -0400

Has anyone had luck in tracking down a DVD source for this wonderful film? I saw it in the Philadelphia Film Festival, but the programmers were unable to provide help.

Here is a description of the film, which also won the Dubai Film Festival

VHS Kahloucha tells the story of a man who literally bleeds for his art. Moncef Kahloucha is a filmmaker living in Sousse, Tunisia. When he's not painting houses, he writes, directs, and stars in movies like I Had No Money and Now I'm Loaded and Misery to Get Rid of the Booze. With one friend working a VHS camcorder and another editing that footage on a computer (!?) and people from the neighborhood acting for free, he churns out genre homages enjoyed not only in his hometown but also by Tunisian immigrants in Italy, longing for a taste of home.

The flicks are as ambitious as they are ridiculous, with chase scenes, car stunts, and battles between man and stuffed wolf, and it's no small irony that the camera that documentarian Nejib Belkadhi uses to profile the making of Kahloucha's latest opus, Tarzan of the Arabs, is far better than Kahloucha's. Belkadhi shows us that Kaloucha's passion for filmnmaking is matched only by his sometimes needlessly DIY tactics - he uses his own blood to dress a corpse.

VHS ends up being a window on Sousse itself, as we see grinding poverty and crime juxtaposed with the sheer joy of the inhabitants who rely on tourism to survive. We also see the gender politics at play, as one actress is hindered by her husband's refusal to let her be in Tarzan, even as he promotes the film the very next day; and the women of the town are unable to attend the premiere as it is held in a cafe full of men.

Kate Pourshariati
Assistant Film Cataloger and AV Reference Librarian
Montgomery County Community College
340 DeKalb Pike
Blue Bell PA 19422

Home of the 2006, 2004 and 2002 CASE and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's Pennsylvania Professors of the Year.

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