I and the Stupid Boy (2021)

I and the Stupid Boy
Director: Kaouther Ben Hania
Writer: Kaouther Ben Hania
Cast: Oulaya Amamra, Sandor Funtek
Seen on: 4.9.2022

Content Note: intimate partner violence

Nora (Oulaya Amamra) is preparing for a date, but as she heads out, she meets her ex-boyfriend Kevin (Sandor Funtek). What starts as innocous small talk quickly becomes a power struggle between the two.

I and the Stupid Boy is a sharp look at gender dynamics in relationships, and how men can quickly exert power about women in them. But while Nora’s desperation and helplessness are palpable, the film doesn’t stop there, but manages to turn things around, giving her her power back in a very satisfying way. It’s a really lovely short film that manages to say a lot in its short runtime.

Nora (Oulaya Amamra) walking in a dark, empty warehouse.

Kandisha (2020)

Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Mathilde Lamusse, Samarcande Saadi, Suzy Bemba, Mériem Sarolie, Félix Glaux-Delporto, Nassim Lyes, Dylan Krief, Sandor Funtek, Bakary Diombera, Walid Afkir
Part of: SLASH 1/2 Festival
Seen on: 18.6.2021

Content Note: sexualized violence, orientalism/racism

Amélie (Mathilde Lamusse), Morjana (Samarcande Saadi) and Bintou (Suzy Bemba) live in a Parisian banlieu. They love spending their time spraying in a neighborhood highrise set for destruction where they are unbothered by pretty much everyone. It is there that they discover the name Aisha Kandisha and Morjana tells them the story of the beautiful Moroccan woman who fell prey to Portuguese colonialists and can now be summoned to take revenge on men. After Amélie is assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, she does just that. But summoning Kandisha means getting more than she bargained for.

Kandisha is an atmospheric, well-made film that I wish had been done by a (French-)Moroccan woman instead of two white dudes.

The film title in white on a black background.
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