Animalia review: Intriguing sci-fi thriller, shame about the aliens

Faith, freedom and spirituality are key to a well-made sci-fi psychological thriller, Animalia. But writer-director Sofia Alaoui leaves the aliens dangling in an unsatisfying ending

Humans 24 February 2023

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Oumaïma Barid appears in Animalia by Sofia Alaoui.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


Sofia Alaoui (director)

Sundance Film Festival premier

Animalia, a French-Moroccan-Qatari co-production that premiered at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, opens with an intriguing set-up. A deeply pious pregnant woman of modest origins, Itto (Oumaïma Barid), looks forward to a day of quiet when her rich husband Amine (Mehdi Dehbi) and his family go away on business.

On the same day, a mysterious state of emergency is declared nationwide. Amine remains stuck somewhere on the other side of Morocco, while …

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