Irish Film Institute -THE DAMNED DON’T CRY



110 mins, France-Belgium-Morocco, 2022, Digital, Subtitled

Teenager Selim (Adbellah El Hajjouji) and his mother Fatima-Zahra (Aïcha Tebbae) live on the margins of society, constantly on the breadline and moving from place to place. Selim has grown up without a father and relies upon his mother, even as he resents her. While in a strictly patriarchal society, Fatima-Zahra needs Selim just as much as he does her, but when a trip to her family village reveals troubling secrets, the strength of their volatile bond is put to the test. Remixing key elements of its 1950 Joan Crawford-starring namesake (and the narrative arc of Pasolini’s Mamma Roma) into a strange and sensuous story, The Damned Don’t Cry explores transgressive sexuality, restrictive cultural expectations and the weight of colonial history. A boldly atmospheric film, tragic and beautiful, it recalls the work of Douglas Sirk and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Age recommendation: 18+

Notes by David O’Mahony

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Thursday 20th