Fatma Review

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After being raped by her cousin at 17, Fatma a motherless Tunisian girl tries to rebuild her life.


Very much in keeping with the increasingly ambitious depiction of women in Iranian cinema, this Tunisian drama suggests a gradual liberalisation of gender politics in the Islamic world.

It's just a shame that the rambling narrative reduces too many incidental characters to ciphers. It also prevents a ready identification with the excellent Jendoubi's resourceful heroine, who survives trauma after trauma to find happiness with a smalltown doctor.

However, director Ghorbal compensates with a frank look at the surprisingly relaxed approach towards sex held by educated women, and the positive picture of the intimate sisterhood that exists within Fatma's circle.

Plot-wise, it's an unorganised disaster, but this compensates with strong characters and a fairly balanced look at a woman's lot in Iran.