Pic plays more like a increasingly dark fairy tale that doesn't know when to stop.
The sheltered life of a traditional Tunisian mother and her two daughters, staying in the servants’ quarters of an abandoned country manse, is rudely upset when a modern couple move in upstairs in “Buried Secrets.” Sophomore pic of Maghrebi femme helmer Raja Amari (“Red Satin”) is clearly meant to be about the effects of seclusion on the development of a woman’s sense of self, but plays more like a increasingly dark fairy tale that doesn’t know when to stop. Beyond femme and Arab fests, this pic will remain largely buried.
Naive, impressionable teen Aicha (a sullen-looking Hafsia Herzi) is more curious about the outside world than her spinster sis (Sondos Belhassen) and elderly mother (Wassila Dari) are. She eventually wanders into a party that the new inhabitants, Salma (Rim El Benna) and Ali (Dhafer L’Abidine), have thrown upstairs (shades of Cinderella’s ball). Eventually, Salma discovers their hideout and uncovers some family secrets that lead to a violent Sturm und Drang finale, draining the pic of much of its goodwill. Production and sound design are neat, while Renato Berta’s saturated lensing is mainly composed of two- and three-shots. Music is bland.