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Hideous Kinky (1998)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  26 April 1999 (USA)
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Hideous Kinky is the story of two sisters (seven and five years old) traveling with their hippie mother from London to Morocco. They encounter many adventures, new experiences, and ... See full summary »



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Title: Hideous Kinky (1998)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bella Riza ...
Carrie Mullan ...
Pierre Clémenti ...
Abigail Cruttenden ...
Ben Said
Sira Stampe ...
Sufi Sheikh
Mohcine Barmouni ...
Annouar Zrika ...
Mohamed Cherkaoui ...


Hideous Kinky is the story of two sisters (seven and five years old) traveling with their hippie mother from London to Morocco. They encounter many adventures, new experiences, and interesting culture as they tag along on their mother's search for freedom and love. It is told through the eyes of the youngest girl, and we learn her observations on life, Mum, and determined sister, Bea. Written by Jesse Payne <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Morocco 1972. It's not about escape, it's about discovery... See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »





| |

Release Date:

26 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hideous Kinky  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$82,431 (USA) (16 April 1999)


$1,262,786 (USA) (13 August 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last theatrical film of Pierre Clémenti. See more »


Julia: What's this? Paper hats, how useful!
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Featured in Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2006) See more »


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Written by Floyd Jones and Allen Wilson
Performed by Canned Heat
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User Reviews

The best movie about the sixties counter culture so far
10 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

This movie addresses the search for spiritual meaning that propelled thousands of western hippies to North Africa and India in the late sixties and early seventies. Although the brain-dead hippie stereotypes are there, often with comedic effect, the narration follows Julie, a single mother played aptly by Kate Winslet, and her two young daughters on a quest for transcendental knowledge around Marrakech Morocco and the nearby villages. Although this is not Winslet's strongest performance (see Hamlet or Quills)her craftsmanship is superb in conveying the emotional turmoil that follows the trail of her character. Is Julie merely escaping from the drudgery of a cold water flat and a fourteen hour workday day in South London or is she on a serious path to spiritual awakening? Is she exposing her children to undue danger in a strange land or is she leading them on the adventure of a lifetime? Has she found the love of her life and a surrogate father for her daughers or has she thrust them into the hands of a polygamist bandit?

The story does not take the easy way out and answer these questions--we do admire Julie's strength of character in coping with them-- but rather twists on a few epiphanies experienced by her children. Winslet brings out the best in the children actors that play daughters Bea and Kate, and Assiz, a delightful steetwise Morrocan youth. As the movie opens the daughters beg Julie to return to London and to their father, a well known writer and poet who is maintaining a second family and a son in Kensington. Julie meets and starts a love affair with Belal, a Morrocan street performer and acrobat. The daughters beg for his acceptance but doubt his loyalty when, out of desparation and out of money, he takes them to the village of his family. The villagers welcome them warmly and throw flower petals over them but the scene is clouded by the presence of a woman who may be Belal's estranged wife.

Julie returns to Marrakech to find long overdue money has arrived from the father in London. Julie can finally make the pilgramage to the Sufi Sheik, her heart's desire all along, but daughter Bea, tired of turmoil and lack of security , asks to be left behind in Marrakech in the house of well-to-do friends. When Julie meets her Sheik a marvelously acted scene takes place where the Sheik, by asking simple earnest questions in a kindly manner draws out of Julie the realisation that her real purpose is to care for her daughters. Although she no longer fears death herself, she must face the more awesome fear of loosing her children. Julie returns to Marrakech to find Bea abandoned to the streets. A mother's worst nightmare comes true when Bea becomes deathly ill. Only taking Bea home to London can save her but there is no money for the trip.

Julie makes the sacrifice of giving up the spiritual life for the sake of her daughters, but, unexpectedly, it is Belal who makes the sacrifice that opens Bea's heart to Morroco.

The film is edited with a break-neck speed that conveys the exotic and strange experience of the young girls in Morroco. If the movie has a weakness, it is that it did not slow down and linger as the the love between Julie and Belal blossomed. In the end we are left with hope. We hope that in the director's cut unseen footage can be ressurected to give dramatic depth where it is needed. We hope Belal is not caught by the authorities; we hope somehow he and Julie can continue their love relation; and we hope that Bea returns to Morroco and is once again welcomed by village women throwing flower petals over her. Imshalla.

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DRIVING ME NUTS - a song from the film? imdb-3250
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