The Perfect Picture

  • Hala El Kouch
  • Lebanon
  • 2020
  • 31 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

Can a single traumatic event be the fatal blow that disrupts the notion of an ideal family? Lebanese filmmaker Hala El Kouch creates a therapy session setting to confront her parents about a traumatic event, and interrogates them over the course of five days. But the moment that “changed everything” for her seems to have made far less impact on her parents. The conversation takes an unexpected turn.

A stream of images, family videos, and photographs from the family album paint a picture of perfect domestic bliss. And during the reenactment, too, Hala’s parents behave in a loving and amiable way towards each other and their daughter. In an otherwise empty room that sometimes contains a sofa and sometimes chairs, the three of them amuse themselves by making faces at one another, combing each other’s hair, and sharing kisses.

Hala nonetheless maintains that this perfect picture has been tainted, and that she no longer trusts her parents. Every so often she bursts into tears. What is it precisely that makes that picture perfect? And has the happy family been irrevocably damaged by the incident, or is it Hala who caused the stir?


  • 31 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic, English
  • Subtitles in: English
Hala El Kouch
Hala El Kouch
Executive producer
Nanor Baghdassarian
Michel Labaky
Hala El Kouch

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history

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