"Why did we have a revolution? People have died for their rights," snaps a character in “Beauty and the Dogs,” the latest film from Tunisian writer and director Kaouther Ben Hania. His stubbornness is directed at Mariam, a college student who has just been raped and resists filing a report at the police station.
Having made major advancements in women’s rights in recent years and benefited the most from the Arab Spring, Tunisia has gradually become the most progressive state in the region. Thus, Ben Hania’s film, which takes place after the impeachment of Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, can be seen as both a period piece set at a time of transition and a dissection of Tunisia's remaining bureaucratic and chauvinistic ills that have yet to be fully eradicated.