Al Hmar (The Donkey)

Al Hmar by Tarek by Tariq Keblaoui


In Ancient Phoenicia, an old man is conned into believing that he had sinned by treating a man as his work-donkey for many years, and seeks forgiveness from the Gods to relieve himself of his wrongdoing.

Loosely based on the 10th-century folktale: The Simpleton and the Sharper, from A Thousand and One Arabian Nights.


Tariq Keblaoui is a Lebanese Director with a technical background in cinematography and editing.

After graduating from Central Film School London with the completion of Holmgång, a Viking period short film, he returned back to Lebanon to start and complete the production of Al Hmar (The Donkey), a Phoenician Dark Comedy.

He is currently working towards developing his first feature film.

Director Statement:

Al Hmar is essentially a film about a superstitious old man, Abdeshmun, who has his donkey stolen away from him by Con-Artists who trick him into believing that one of the Con-men was, in fact, his donkey all along. However, As the plot unfolds and we follow along on his journey, we watch to see how a supposedly supernatural incident can go from convincing one person, to eventually convincing a whole village of people— and what catastrophes can come from acting on a false story.

It's a film that plays with themes of deception, superstition, and naivety, and it explores these themes by showing the perspective just beyond Abdeshmun's peripheral vision, where only we as the audience can see the truth behind the con.

Al Hmar was my first attempt as a Director at running a real-scale short film production in Lebanon. We had a big team of committed friends and filmmakers who all put incredible effort into tackling every challenge that came our way. We made this short in hopes of making a fun film that can relate a resonating message about the importance of attention and observation, back in Phoenician times and even in the chaos of the world today.

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