Zaineb Hates the Snow

Zaineb Takrahou Ethelj

  • Kaouther Ben Hania
  • Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, France, Qatar, Lebanon
  • 2016
  • 94 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Panorama
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.


  • 94 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Kaouther Ben Hania
Habib Attia for Cinetelefilms
13 productions
Kaouther Ben Hania
Samuel Lajus, Nadia Ben Rachid

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Supported with €16000 for Classic: Production & postproduction

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IDFA history

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