With her affluent husband and his oppressive family away on a day trip, Itto (Oumaïma Barid) intends to savour some solitude in their opulent home. But when an ominous meteorological event blows in, all of Morocco is plunged into a state of emergency. Forced to evacuate and thrust from her sheltered privilege, the heavily pregnant Itto witnesses increasingly strange phenomenon. Through her efforts to reunite with her husband on the other side of the Atlas Mountains, this sheltered woman is instead reacquainted with the exhilaration of freedom.
Sofia Alaoui refashions tropes from sci-fi flicks and road movies into a debut that defies ready classification. Meticulously crafted and deeply meditative, the film reflects on faith and class (Itto hails from a lower social rung), while delivering shimmering supernatural spectacle. In charting this alienated woman’s odyssey through an increasingly otherworldly and apocalyptic milieu, it marks the arrival of a unique new voice in international cinema.
Special Jury Award, Sundance 2023
Series Media Partner
Oumaïma Barid, Mehdi Dehbi, Fouad Oughaou
In French, Arabic and Berber with English subtitles
At International Village
At The Rio
Margaux Lorier, Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral
Sofia Alaoui is a French-Moroccan filmmaker, raised between Morocco and China. Featured as one of Screen Daily’s Arab Stars of Tomorrow, she has credits including the short films So What If the Goats Die (Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize 2020, César Awards Best Short Film 2021), followed by The Lake for 20th Century Fox, broadcast on Hulu. Animalia is her feature debut.
See more films in this series:
The Animal Kingdom
In a world where mysterious mutations are gradually evolving humans into animal hybrids in an unpredictable and frightening way, a father tries to protect his 16-year-old son who is starting to acquire beastly characteristics.
Winner of Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prix, Tiger Stripes is a coming-of-age body horror film set in a Malaysian girls' school. 12-year-old Zaffan’s body starts to change before everyone else’s, and she becomes convinced she's turning into a monster.
Central Europe, 2041. Citizens have the right to be revived from unnatural deaths. When a scientist is murdered and revived through an unstable, outdated backup detective Em Trochinowska pursues her prime suspect, a hacker tied to a Luddite terror cell.
White Plastic Sky
2123: When Stefan's wife consents to a macabre metamorphosis before her appointed time, he races across a devastated landscape to save her. This richly detailed rotoscoped dystopia is a spectacle to behold, and a warning to be heeded.
Outcast teen hockey goalie Heather has it rough: she's a closeted lesbian with an alcoholic mum and something far worse than the usual menstrual cycle. This full-blooded creature feature weds the classic werewolf mythos with its own sapphic sensibility.
Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
Meet Sasha, the world’s most compassionate young vampire. Her family is at their wits' end with her refusal to embrace their lethal traditions and threaten to cut her off -- until she meets a brooding boy hoping to end his life, and strikes a unique deal.
An unexpected meteorological phenomenon means that a heavily pregnant young Moroccan woman, Itto, is forced to flee from her comfortable home alone and brave an increasingly otherworldly and apocalyptic milieu. A singular, hard-to-classify debut feature.
The Sacrifice Game
1971. Sam and Clara are stuck at their elite boarding school for the Christmas holidays, along with a teacher, her boyfriend, and, soon enough, a murderous gang of occult killers, led by Mena Massoud (Aladdin), who mean to call up a long-dormant demon...
Chronicles of a Wandering Saint
Boasting absurdist humour and one of the most audacious storytelling gambits you'll see on screen this year, this is the story of Rita, a devout senior with an ill-advised scheme to stage a miracle and thus enshrine her reputation as a living saint.
On the brink of destitution, a gamekeeper on a remote ranch in southern Spain takes a bribe from a hunting party. When (inevitably) this leads to tragedy, Eladio's world falls apart, as unnatural forces extract a terrible price.