A space in a continuous confrontation between good and evil. A story where witchcraft rituals and demonic invocations are recurring practice. A fairy-tale? A sort of. So, is there a happy-end? Not really. But ‘True Story‘ is not a fairy tale like any other, since it overlaps the pre-existing conventions, rendering the tragedy of a mother who, like the queens grieving the absence of a child from the well-known stories of the Brothers Grimm, risk condemning her own daughter to a marginal existence, because of a bizarre malformation the little baby was born with. Thus, the sacrifice and the struggle to achieve normality become the main goals by which the protagonist of the short film directed by Amine Lakhnech tries to face the whims of an unjust fate. In fact, beyond the rather simplistic structures of a fairy-tale-like narrative, good and evil represent in this fascinating cinematic project some interchangeable poles, since the great mainstay of the director consists precisely in the relativization of these totally antagonistic principles, illustrating the human inability to understand these extremes in their attempt to defeat the barriers of everyday existence. Where does the good start? Where the evil ends, some would say. But such a perspective is too limited to understand the soul mechanics of these characters who, in a monochrome universe, are vainly trying to discern the light and the darkness or the angels and the demons. Thus, the spectacular fictional world created by Amine Lakhnech is populated by magicians and shamans, priests and demonic spectres, purity and ugliness, in a game of shrill contrasts that are rendered through a hallucinatory imagery where the experimental dose becomes a coordinating principle of the whole epic evolution.


After her daughter is born with a strange malformation that prevents her from having a normal life, Wahida tries to find a solution to save the little girl from social repugnance. But conventional solutions, even if they go beyond the scientific area, entering the field of shamanic rituals, seem useless. Despair pushes the grieving mother to invoke, with the help of an occult book, the dark forces. Will such a decision succeed in establishing the personal good of the unhappy victim?


Despite the narrative core that draws viewers on a fascinating journey, at the border of the macabre, through the lights and darkness of an enthralling world, the great quality of this project is represented by the eccentricity of the directorial vision that attacks a wide range of filming strategies, concretizing a visceral sensory experience in which the esotericism, magical practices and details of a fascinating poetic cruelty merge into an overwhelming fictional universe. Amine Lakhnech impresses, therefore, not only by his power to concentrate in a striking imagistic odyssey an entire coherent universe governed by its own mechanisms, but also by the talent with which he manages to homogenize a modern reinterpretation of a fairy-tale which, beyond its fantastic conventions, manages to depict with overwhelming sincerity the inability of contemporary people to face the magnetism of evil, in a desperate attempt to attain personal happiness. ‘True Story’ is more than a fairy-tale, it is more than a true story, it is a sharp and uncomfortable metaphor about the limits of the human being whose sacrifices can push them to the heights of happiness or to the depths of their subjective hell.