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The Damned Don't Cry 18 rating

Fyzal Boulifa's (Lynn + Lucy) striking film about the perils of falling foul of community and social expectations.

Drama 2022 111 mins

Director: Fyzal Boulifa



Selim and his mother Fatima-Zahra live in close quarters, with so little money that a single moment of bad fortune is a crisis of survival. Man-child Selim has grown up without a father, leaving him and his mother socially marginalised; he’s bound to his mother, but also resents her and offers his love with a dose of petulance. In a starkly patriarchal society, Fatima-Zahra needs Selim just as much as he leans on her. When a trip to her family village reveals some troubling secrets, a rift opens that will see them try to establish their independence from each other, but tests their fragile love.

Moroccan-British filmmaker Boulifa offers a glimpse of what is hidden within private spaces – guarded secrets, sexuality, shame, hope and a desire for more than cultural expectations allow. Employing a bold colour palette, Boulifa delivers an atmospheric domestic drama that recalls, in all the best ways, Douglas Sirk and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Transgressive, tragic and beautiful.