Zaineb is a nine-year-old Tunisian girl who loses her father in a car accident. After the grief comes a new shock: her mother has fallen in love with an old flame who moved to Canada; he was married but is now divorced. Zaineb is appalled at the idea of a stepdad and a move to Canada, but this is just what happens 18 months later. She usually puts on a brave face, but she’s in tears as she says goodbye to her classmates. In Canada Zaineb shares a room with her new stepsister, who is also unsure how she feels about the situation. Kaouther Ben Hania, a cousin of Zaineb’s mother, follows the events closely, skillfully capturing the emotional charge of everyday moments. In this captivating portrait of adolescence, the leap into a new world with a different culture and religion is treated with a lightness of touch. At the same time, it works as an excellent metaphor for the confusing process known as growing up. The years that follow remain turbulent – Zaineb has barely managed to embrace her Canadian life when new changes appear on the horizon.

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Critic Reviews (3)

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  1. Positive: 3 Out of 3
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Critical Consensus: Good.

Screen Daily

09 Feb 2017
Watching how children grow is an education, something Michael Apted’s The Up Series continues to prove every seven years. Director Kaouther Ben Haria (2013’s Challat of Tunis) follows a nine year-old girl named Zaineb over six years in this appea ...

23 Jan 2017
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 ...

Camera Obscura

04 Oct 2016
After a first feature-length feature film – Le Challat de Tunis , selected at ACID in 2014 – Kaouther Ben Hania returns to the documentary and proposes a definitive version of what was in fact a work in the short court: filming episodic, ...

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Release Date(s):

August 8th, 2016 (Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland)
November 16th, 2016 (IDFA Festival, Netherland)
January 28th, 2017 (Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden)


Kaouther Ben Hania


Kaouther Ben Hania


Samuel Lajus, Nadia Ben Rachid


Kaouther Ben Hania

Production Company:

13 Productions, Cinétéléfilms


Hakka Distribution (theatrical)


Arabic, English and French Subtitles


94 minutes

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