The film chronicles one night in the life of Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, who meets a stranger at a student party and leaves with him without knowing that the night will soon turn into a nightmare.
“For her jump from documentary to fiction, Tunisian distaff director Kaouther Ben Hania has chosen both a controversial true story — a woman who was raped by several local policemen has to decide whether to stay silent or report the crime… to the local police — and a stylistic challenge with a clear cinematic edge, chronicling that one long and awful night in nine chapters,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote in its review.
Beauty and the Dogs premiered in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes in 2017 and went on to be screened at a number of other international festivals. It opened theatrically in Tunisia on Nov. 12, 2017.
Beauty and the Dogs is only Tunisia’s fifth submission for the Academy’s best foreign-language film category. No Tunisian film has earned a nomination or statuette.