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In contemporary commercial cinema, rape is a useful catalyst for revenge tales.The rape story dramatized in Kaouther Ben Hania's "Beauty and the Dogs" is a startling departure from commercial norms.Divided into nine narrative shards, "Beauty" tells the story of Mariam (Mariam Al Ferjani), a young woman from a conservative rural family who's attending university in Tunis.As the film opens, Mariam's locked herself in the toilet. Returning to the party, Mariam sips water and notices she's caught the eye of a young fellow named Youssef (Ghanem Zrelli). They fall into easy conversation and the first narrative shard ends with Mariam and Youssef strolling away from the camera and thumping music."Beauty" is based upon an incident not unlike Mariam's – a story a young woman published in book form. In interviews published since her film's 2017 premiere (in Cannes' Un Certain Regard selection) Ben Hania has said that she took many liberties with this story, wanting to underline the systemic obstacles confronting Tunis' female rape victims.
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