Black Medusa

  • 96'
  • Tunisia
  • 2021

Nada is a young woman leading a double life. During the daytime she’s quiet and reserved, but after dark she dives into the nightlife of Tunis and picks up men. First, she lets them tell their stories – as she doesn’t speak, she acts as a kind of confidante – then beats the hell out of them. When a new colleague, Noura, arrives at her workplace and Nada finds a mythical knife at the home of one of her victims, events are unleashed over which Nada has less and less control.

Black Medusa is not only a portrait of an angry young woman in post-revolutionary Tunisia. The directors also sketch a portrait of Tunis: a city that combines cold, faceless office buildings with exuberant night life. Above all, they offer us a unique, innovative view of contemporary Tunisia. Using Nada’s double life of monotony and violence as a metaphor, the film explores the more underlying concerns and sorrows of a generation.

During the nine nights in this story, the makers switch genres with ease: from a film noir featuring a mysterious femme fatale to an Italian giallo with a serial killer on the prowl, to even a sprinkling of fantasy. The striking Black Medusa consciously breaks with the stylistic elements usual in North African cinema in the same way as Nada breaks the rules of society in order to liberate herself.

Directors
ismaël, Youssef Chebbi
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
Tunisia
Production Year
2021
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
96'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Ma tasmaa ken errih
Languages
Arabic, French, English
Producer
ismaël
Production Company
Utopia Films
Sales
Utopia Films
Screenplay
ismaël, Youssef Chebbi
Cinematography
Imed Aissaoui
Editor
ismaël
Production Design
Batal Temmani
Sound Design
Amal Attaia
Music
Omar Aloulou
Cast
Nour Hajri, Rym Hayouni