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Mareike Engelhardt Rabia

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #62. Mareike Engelhardt’s Rabia

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.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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