gets a new look !
Bizerte, a small provincial town in Tunisia.
Khorma is a young orphan who amazes people by his red hair and pale skin. He lives under the protection of old Bou Khaleb, who acts as a father to him. Bou Khaleb brings news to people and prays for the dead; he tries to transmit the secrets of these crafts to his young charge.
The master and his apprentice have different ideas about this work: Bou Khaleb believes that, when in the service of God, one must accept whatever sum people wish to give. Khorma sees things from a more commercial angle and wants to set a price for each service rendered. Bou Khaleb is the uncontested chief; Khorma therefore resigns himself to working in the old way.
Things change at last when Bou Khaleb, who has become a little deaf, makes a serious mistake: he announces the death of a local woman instead of announcing her daughter’s wedding. What a disaster! Worse still, fate hounds him, for three days later, the poor woman dies a second time, but this time for real. Everyone accuses Bou Khareb of bringing bad luck. They’ve got to get rid of him quick.
For lack of other candidates, Hadj Khalifa, the local wise man, makes Khorma Bou Khaleb’s successor. He naïvely thinks that this rather simple orphan will do exactly what he’s told. Khorma doesn’t see things this way and takes his new responsibilities very seriously. He decides to give himself a new image and to restructure the little business of death. He revolutionizes the business around the cemetery, much to the great pleasure of all those working in the death trade, but much to the displeasure of the general population that is now having to deal with galloping inflation.
Khorma surprises everyone by his generosity and his flair for business, but no one is very happy about it. Anger grows in Khorma’s circle and it explodes one night when he does something totally reprehensible. To build up his reputation and assure the protection of the neighborhood’s tough guys, he organizes a party in the house of a man who has recently died. Unfortunately, one of the guests drunkenly makes a pass at the young orphan who has lent Khorma the house in exchange for her uncle’s free burial. He’s gone too far and the town’s notables decide to take revenge. They force Khorma down to the beach, strip him half-naked and tie him to a stake. They focus a light on him, smear him with honey and leave him there, defenseless against the swarms of mosquitoes drawn to him by the light and the sweet smell of honey.
Early the next morning, Kamel comes to the beach and frees his friend. Far from being undone by this terrible adventure, he starts dancing for joy. Business may be good, but it demands too many responsibilities. He’s at last found his freedom again!