Nouri Bouzid

Tunisia, Morocco, Luxembourg, 2019 / 97 min / Arabic OV with French subt. / drama

Luxembourgish Premiere

Two young Tunisian women who were sent into sexual slavery in Syria are trying to get themselves back together as their country and their families reject them.

In late 2013, Zina and Djo, both in their twenties return to Tunisia from the Syrian front where they were kidnapped, raped and forced into sexual slavery by Daesh fighters. Zina was separated from her two-month-old child. Back in Tunisia, Djo finds out she’s pregnant and refuses to talk, only expressing the horrific experiences she was forced to witness in Syria in the novel she is writing. Tunisian lawyer Nadia and Dora, a doctor, assist the two women in their hard and lengthy recovery, impeded by the violence of their close circles, society’s contempt of them visible on social networks, and their own angst. When their lawyer puts them in touch with Driss, a 21-year- old persecuted homosexual, they finally find someone they can open up to, and slowly begin to assume ownership of their lives and stand up to the unjust society.

“I wanted to make this film as testimony of the dark period Tunisia has experienced under the Islamist regime since the recent revolution. My aim is to break the silence around its isolated victims, and to lift the veil on this period. I have taken this opportunity to liberate this story from behind the walls that have encircled it since 2013. The Scarecrows cries out in opposition to the forgetfulness that surrounds the victims who embody the bad conscience of our nation.” Director’s statement by Nouri Bouzid

Thu 12/03 16:30 Ciné Utopia Arabic OV with FR subt. Avant-première

“A gripping, rawly emotional viewpoint on coming home raped. […] an eye-opening drama” Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, 28/08/2019

  • Human Rights Special Prize, Venice International Film Festival, 2019 (Italy)
Cast & Credits
Nour Hajri, Afef Ben Mahmoud, Joumene Limam, Sondos Belhassen, Mehdi Hajri, Fatma Ben Saidane, Noomen Hamda, Ghanem Zrelli
Nouri Bouzid
Hatem Nechi
Moez Cheikh
Fatma Midani
Riadh Fehri
Mésanges Films, Lycia Productions
Samsa Film

Born in Sfax, Tunisia in 1945, Nouri Bouzid is a scriptwriter, director, actor and poet. He studied at INSAS in Brussels from 1968 to 1972 under André Delvaux. A leftist activist, Bouzid was imprisoned from 1973 to 1979 for belonging to the leadership of GEAST (the Tunisian Socialist Studies and Action Group). Hs first feature film, Man of Ashes (1986), screened in Cannes in 1986 in the “Un Certain Regard” section, along with his second feature Golden Horseshoes (1989). In 1992, his next feature Bezness made it to the Directors' Fortnight. His short It is Scheherazade We're Killing (1993), part of the collective omnibus film The Gulf War... What next?, and Bent Familia (1997) were both screened at the Venice International Film Festival. In 1994 he participated in founding EDAC, a film school in Tunis, where he has been teaching directing, screenwriting and film theory since. In 2009, he was made an officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France. His latest film, The Scarecrows (2019), was selected in the Sconfini section of the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

  • 2019 – Les épouvantails
  • 2012 – Millefeuille
  • 2008 – Penalty (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2006 – Making of
  • 2002 – Poupées d'argile
  • 1997 – Tunisiennes
  • 1993 – La Guerre du Golfe et après : C’est Scheherazade qu’on assassine (court-métrage dans un programme / short film in a collection / Kurzfilm in einer Sammlung)
  • 1992 – Bezness
  • 1989 – Les Sabots en or
  • 1986 – L'Homme de cendres