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NNarrative Competition

Hidden Beauties

Hidden Beauties

Original Title: Manmoutesh
Director: Nouri Bouzid
Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, France | Arabic
2012 | 105min. | Colour
Subtitles: English
Format: DCP
15+
Hidden Beauties is the poignant tale of two young Tunisian women striving to achieve the same level of emancipation enjoyed by the male population of their country – even as their fellow citizens fight for freedom. Veteran director Nouri Bouzid portrays sensitive accounts of family drama and tortured romance against the backdrop of political and religious conflict in the Arab world.

Surrounded by the turmoil of revolution, Zainab and Aisha are inspired to change the course of their own lives. In a male-dominated society, that is easier said than done, but they are unrelenting in their pursuit of equality. Brahim, Zainab’s fiancé, wants his future wife to put on the Islamic veil; and Hamza, Zainab’s brother and Aisha’s love interest, disapproves of the women’s lifestyle and choices. Aisha, in turn, assumes full responsibility of looking after her family after the death of her parents. Under pressure to remove her veil from her boss at work, she struggles to balance her beliefs with the need for income.

As one woman resists putting on the veil and another resists taking it off, the two friends stand together in their fight. Their course resonates as a metaphor for all the uncertainties in the country’s political future.

Bouzid does not spare anyone in depicting the tension, violence and sorrow as a result of the revolution. He himself takes on the role of a blind accordionist, who touches our hearts with his songs, and leaves us longing for peace in our world.

– Suad Shamma

Director,  Nouri Bouzid

Director,  Nouri Bouzid

Nouri Bouzid was born in Sfax, Tunisia. He studied film in Brussels, graduating with the short film Duel (1972). Returning to Tunisia, he worked in television for two years but was then jailed for his political views. He worked on several foreign films, including Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), before directing his first feature, Man of Ashes (1986), which won the Un Certain Regard top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Other titles include Bezness (1992), Clay Dolls (2002) and Making Of (2006).

Cast and Crew

Director
Nouri Bouzid
Cast
Souhir Ben Amara, Bahram Aloui, Nour Mziou, Lotfi Ebdelli, Sabah Bouzouita, Bouraouia Marzouk, Fethi Meselmani, Abdelaziz Meherzi, Hamdi Hadda
Production Company
CTV services
Producer
Abdelaziz Ben Mlouka, George Marc Ben Hammou
Screenwriter
Nouri Bouzid, Joumène Limem
Editor
Seif Ben Salem
Cinematographer
Béchir Mahbouli
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