Bent Familia | Chicago Reader

Bent Familia

Two old friends are reunited in this 1997 Tunisian film, which protests the position of women in traditional Arab culture. Amina has married into money but complains that she's treated like a piece of furniture; her husband can't understand her desire for even limited freedom and demands that she stay at home. The divorced Aida has a boyfriend, yet her young son, tormented by other kids because of his liberated mother, wants her to marry. By giving these males authentic voices, director Nouri Bouzid makes clear that they too are victims of their culture's limited outlook, making his film a bit richer than the propaganda piece it sometimes seems to be. A scene in which the women explore a gigantic beached freighter provides a fine metaphor for both their quest and the limitations they face.

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