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Maria Coletti

After being premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2016, and then premiered at the Festival International du Cinéma Méditerranéen Montpellier and JCC (Cinématographiques Journées de Carthage) Tunis - Zaineb n'aime pas la neige of Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania: a training documentary follows Zaineb, a Tunisian child, in the six crucial years of his life, from 9 to 15 years, with three more or less long intervals.

Tunis, 2009. Zaineb 9 years has lost her father, who died in a car accident, and is getting ready for a major change: the remarriage of his mother and the consequent transfer to Canada. The already difficult journey from childhood to adolescence is made even more complex and suffered Zaineb, which must adapt to a new family situation (his stepfather and half-sister) and a new country.

Halfway between portrait and documentary home movie (the director is the cousin of Zaineb mother), the film manages to establish a strong empathy with the protagonist, standole also close the spaces and in the most intimate moments. The director does not want to build a history imposed from the baby or give a full meaning to a life that you can only watch, stalk, in its making. And so we listen to the questions and reflections of Zaineb: the lack of a father, on the Revolution that changed his country, religion and love. Unanswered questions or have different answers depending on ...

After being premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2016, and then premiered at the Festival International du Cinéma Méditerranéen Montpellier and JCC (Cinématographiques Journées de Carthage) Tunis – Zaineb n’aime pas la neige of Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania: a training documentary follows Zaineb, a Tunisian child, in the six crucial years of his life, from 9 to 15 years, with three more or less long intervals.

Tunis, 2009. Zaineb 9 years has lost her father, who died in a car accident, and is getting ready for a major change: the remarriage of his mother and the consequent transfer to Canada. The already difficult journey from childhood to adolescence is made even more complex and suffered Zaineb, which must adapt to a new family situation (his stepfather and half-sister) and a new country.

Halfway between portrait and documentary home movie (the director is the cousin of Zaineb mother), the film manages to establish a strong empathy with the protagonist, standole also close the spaces and in the most intimate moments. The director does not want to build a history imposed from the baby or give a full meaning to a life that you can only watch, stalk, in its making. And so we listen to the questions and reflections of Zaineb: the lack of a father, on the Revolution that changed his country, religion and love. Unanswered questions or have different answers depending on the age, the stage of life that Zaineb happens to live.

In his diary, nine years Zaineb wrote that she would like to have a sister. Then, when it is to have one, gained, it is not all as simple as an adult could imagine. With the lightness and precision of the camera that takes, we see Zaineb transformed: his changing body and its desires is also transformed, his fears, his reflections.

Wijdene, half-sister, somehow becomes his alter ego, another self, it is facing and clashes as the mirror. At first he refuses, then look, then again it has gone away and in the end, with the divorce of her mother, she rediscovered as a simple friend. And ‘interesting to note that the religious beliefs and habits change with the passage of time and with the changing of places. The mother of Zaineb in Tunisia choose to wear the veil, but in Canada it takes. Zaineb a child is convinced Muslim and critical Wijdene who said they were Christians, but then at fifteen she smiles of his past convictions and shows a more open and relaxed attitude.

Who knows how it will change even Zaineb … For now we are content to see her smiling in meeting again on a screen, with his mother, his little brother and his sister / Wijdene friend.

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