15 January 2023:
Born an illegitimate son in a Middle Eastern and Arab community that scorns such occurrences partly served as an inspiration for Karim Berrhouma's movie EVEN GOD WON'T FORGIVE that sheds light on Tunisia's most infamous serial killer Nacer Damergi known as the 'Butcher of Nabeul.'
Damergi — the man behind the murder of 13 children in the 1980s and the last convict to be executed in Tunisia — was a living example of dread on Tunisian streets. Born to a prostitute mother and unable to uncover his father's identity until he was 30 years old, Nacer eventually developed several psychiatric disorders that eventually fed his lust for death.
However, Berrhouma — the film's promising writer and director, who is best known for several shorts, including Dajjal, Soltane, and Wallet — succeeds in evoking no sympathy for this heinous serial killer, giving no excuses for his abhorrent deeds, instead making the audience loathe him much more than before for his awful and unforgivable crimes.
Damergi went to France in 1964 after getting engaged to his cousin, whom he adored, and returned in 1968 to discover his fiancée had moved on and married someone else, fueling his rage. His so-called vengeance, however, did not begin until 20 years later, when he murdered his ex-fiancée's kid in 1988.
Damergi — who was 45 years old when he was executed in 1990 — admitted his crimes and led police officers to the victims' corpses, which were mostly hidden in fields and abandoned wells, making him the last person against whom capital punishment was carried out in Tunisia.
Berrhouma wanted the actors, the sets, the costumes, and the lighting to tell the story without opting for over-cutting. Instead, he chose to make use of stable movements and long shots using cranes on dollies, so that the spectator plunges into the atmosphere of the film and follows the action from start to finish. Furthermore, he wanted the script and the action to guide the rhythm of the film.
EVEN GOD WON'T FORGIVE is currently in cinemas all across Tunisia.