Mary, the dogs … and society “On the Palm of Imp”


Only nine scenes were enough for the Tunisian director, Kawthar Ben Haniyeh, to deliver the humiliation, humiliation, pain and anger that the 21-year-old Maryam (Mariam Al-Farajani) was subjected to in just one night, starting with her suffering from the patriarchy, rape, police corruption and the health system, and ending with the full social system for Tunisia (Or any other Arab country). A student celebration, in which Maryam (Mariam Al-Farajani) wanted dancing, laughter, and joy, and why not get to know Youssef (Ghanem Al-Zarli), the handsome young man and revolutionary activist. A night ended with a night fight to respect her rights and dignity, but the problem is that those who must help her are her executioners.On the Puck of Imp (2017) – although I prefer a foreign translation “beautiful and dogs”, but the Arabic title has a political and security meaning that is evident in the film, a journey in the vampire city is presented to us. Night wolves gather around one prey, and compete with each other to snap the victim’s flesh. The beautiful blue color of Mary’s dress, an impossible nightmare that reminds us of horror movies (the gello) that brings her horrific stories between reality and the unbelievable truth.
The chapters that make up “On the Puck of the Imp”, which was recently presented to Netflix, give the film this feeling of endless despair. Until the end that carries hope, it was blurry, because the topic is old and did not and will not end with the end of the movie. Women who have lived for centuries of suspicion about their sexual life, appearance, and everything, in most of the world’s civilized societies have not been able to rid themselves of the word “wrong.” It is the woman who ate the apple, and therefore deserves what happens to her until today. Even the women who tried to help Maryam, did little more than say the little sympathy. Even Youssef, who helped her throughout the film, his intentions are questionable. One can not believe in the other film. Everyone is liars and ferocious wolves whose goal is to protect the herd.
A true story, a story that caused uproar in Tunisia, turned into a book called Moftat “Guilty because she was raped”, which was presented by Bin Haniyeh on the big screen, with a long series of inevitable tortures. Ben Haniyeh pursued Mary in all the scenes that gave the film a sustainable rhythm, instilling tension, especially in the second half when Mary finds herself trapped in the den of her rap, where fierce dogs hover around, and sinners and their friends appear like a real monster willing to do anything to intimidate the young woman And discourage her from submitting a complaint. The tape highlights how difficult or impossible it is to change the customs, traditions and mindset of an entire country and society.
“You complain of rape while you are in this scandalous dress?” “Doctor, I wanted to know if this was her first time”, “Fallen, a prostitute”, “Is there no one to judge you?” … these sayings were issued by the police establishment, on Men whose masculinity has overcome their professional and human conscience. In a country that has made strides in granting women legal gains compared to other countries, and has fought many battles to get rid of dictatorship and transform into a democratic state that respects the rights of citizens equally; In it, the policemen themselves still disliked the woman’s body with insulting looks and touches, as if masculinity is the men’s first profession, the constitution that transcends and governs any other law.
Although the film is sometimes excessive in melodrama, excessive disposition and clarity of cliches, it is noteworthy that these cliches are real, which Bin Haniyeh did not use but only presented, and through them revealed the fragility of our societies, our disdain for such incidents and how to deal with them.

* Beauty and the Dogs on Netflix


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