Hizia Image


By Alan Ng | November 9, 2021

A random moment in our everyday lives begs the question, “What would you do?” In Chabname Zariab’s short film, Hizia, a man, Fahim (Salim Fontaine), is carrying a large bag containing a crying baby, and the police are chasing them. He knocks on a random door and an older woman, Louise (Brigitte Roüan), answers the door. Fahim hands her the baby and quickly asks her to take care of her. Louise agrees, and Fahim runs and is quickly arrested.

“…whips together a makeshift bottle of milk, and instantly her maternal instincts take over.”

With baby in hand, Louise whips together a makeshift bottle of milk, and instantly her maternal instincts take over. That evening, husband Gilles (Bruno Wolkowitch) returns home and is surprised by the baby’s existence. Louise quickly makes up a babysitting story. Trouble comes when Fahim returns and wants his daughter’s return, and Louise claims not to know where she is.

I love short films that pose an intriguing question and allow us to watch this morally questionable situation play out like a wind-up toy. That’s what Zariab does with Hizia. So many of us have taken in lost animals, but a lost baby…and one where you know who the other is. The joy of Zariab’s film is seeing on far down the path Louise goes to keep someone else’s baby. Hizia is a wonderfully told story and hits each beat of Louise’s lousy decision-making brilliantly with an accent of cringe along the way. So, what would you do?

Hizia (2021)

Directed and Written: Chabname Zariab

Starring: Brigitte Roüan, Bruno Wolkowitch, Salim Laouar Fontaine, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Hizia Image

"…So, what would you do?"

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