BEAUTY AND THE DOGS
Kaouther Ben Hania’s sophomore narrative feature follows Mariam, a young Tunisian woman who meets Youssef during a student party and then leaves with him. Hours later, she and Youssef are forced to embark on an infuriating and degrading journey — they need to report Mariam’s sexual assault at the hands of men claiming to be police, a search for justice that spirals into bureaucratic hell. Dealing with a hot-button and delicate issue, Hania uses considerable restraint in never showing us the heinous act, allowing the audience to fill in the blanks of what happened. She also breaks up the film into chapters, using long tracking shots to raise tension, and immerses viewers in each phase of Mariam’s long and nightmarish evening. – Jenn Murphy
Born in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, Kaother Ben Hania studied in Tunisia at L'École des Arts et du Cinema and in Paris at La Fémis and L'Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle. In 2010, her documentary feature debut LES IMAMS VONT À L'ÉCOLE premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival. BEAUTY AND THE DOGS premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.