Irish Film Institute -HOUNDS



94 mins, Morocco-France-Belgium, 2023, Digital.

A gritty thriller set over one long, dark night, Kamal Lazraq’s Hounds, his debut feature, was a deserving winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard programme of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. In the suburbs of Casablanca, Hassan and Issam (extraordinary non-professional actors Abdellatif Masstouri and Ayoub Elaid), father and son, are at the bottom of the criminal food chain, living a tenuous, hardscrabble life by doing small-time jobs for local gangsters. When they are commissioned to kidnap a man, the job, in timehonoured fashion, goes awry, propelling the harried duo on an odyssey through mean city streets filled with paranoia and danger, and into a countryside no less menacing for its comparative wildness. As they race against the sunrise, their already strained relationship is tested to its limit.

Notes by David O’Mahony

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Thursday 20th