Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #62. Mareike Engelhardt’s Rabia
A new voice in German cinema embarks on a journey that could have been pulled from the headlines but it’s the destination and possible examination into psychological darkness that could be the alluring facet to this feature debut. Mareike Engelhardt had early support for her project winning the Arte Kino International Prize and she lassoed the likes of Megan Northam and Lubna Azabal to explore a power-dynamic set in inside a women’s shelter in Syria. Rabia moved into production late last year and wrapped up this month. Grand Huit’s Lionel Massol and Pauline Seigland produced the film.
Gist: A 19-year-old French woman travels to a country at war and finds herself trapped in a house full of women with a number of other young arrivals from all corners of the globe. In order to survive, she becomes an assistant to the director, Madame, who exerts a powerful fascination over Rabia. Their master-slave relationship drives Rabia to go beyond the limits of her convictions, until she can no longer bear the monster the system is turning her into…
Release Date/Prediction: We’re looking at a possible showing at the end of the year – Settimana Internazionale della Critica in Venice could be the earliest option.