5 user 9 critic

Scales (2019)

Sayyedat al-Bahr (original title)
Set in a dystopian landscape, SCALES is the story of a young strong-willed girl, Hayat, who lives in a poor fishing village governed by a dark tradition in which every family must give one ... See full summary »


Shahad Ameen


Shahad Ameen
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Basima Hajjar Basima Hajjar ... Hayat
Yagoub Alfarhan ... Muthana
Abdulaziz Shtian Abdulaziz Shtian ... Yaser
Ibrahim Al-Hasawi ... Saada
Rida Ismail Rida Ismail ... Hakeem
Ali Abdallah Al Kamzari Ali Abdallah Al Kamzari ... Salim
Fathi Ahmad All Kamzari Fathi Ahmad All Kamzari ... Khaled
Mohammed Tareq Al Shehhi Mohammed Tareq Al Shehhi ... Shareef
Walid Khalid Dawood Walid Khalid Dawood ... Hassan
Osama Suheil Al Zarafi Osama Suheil Al Zarafi ... Iqbal
Mohannad Hassan Al Zohoury Mohannad Hassan Al Zohoury ... Azeez
Seif Ibrahim Al Hamadi Seif Ibrahim Al Hamadi ... Tareq
Ali Abdullah Al Kamzari Ali Abdullah Al Kamzari ... Zahr
Hassan Al Kamzari Hassan Al Kamzari ... Hamdi
Mohammed Abdullah Al Kamzari Mohammed Abdullah Al Kamzari ... Adnan


Set in a dystopian landscape, SCALES is the story of a young strong-willed girl, Hayat, who lives in a poor fishing village governed by a dark tradition in which every family must give one daughter to the sea creatures who inhabit the waters nearby. In turn the sea creatures are hunted by the men of the village. Saved from this fate by her father, Hayat is considered a curse on the village and grows up an outcast. Nevertheless, she does not surrender to this fate and fights for a place within her village. After her mother gives birth to a baby boy, Hayat must accept the brutal custom of giving herself to the sea creatures or finding a way to escape.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Set in a dystopian landscape, SCALES is the story a young girl who stands alone against her family and overturns the village tradition of sacrificing the female children.


Drama | Mystery


Did You Know?


Official submission of Saudi Arabia for the 'Best International Feature Film' category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. See more »

User Reviews

A tale of emancipation that lacks depth
29 March 2021 | by theapinbetweenSee all my reviews

In a remote fishing village, firstborn girls are thrown into the sea and sacrificed to the sirens, in a propitiatory rite that is repeated every full moon.

Hayat is initially rescued by her father, but years later, when his second son is born, he forces her to meet her destiny: she saves herself by managing to get out of the water carrying the body of a mermaid. Thanks to this, she manages, with difficulty, to integrate into the fishing community, transforming herself from victim to hunter: in fact, in a cyclical and paradoxical perpetuation of violence, the girls sacrificed to the sea become the mermaids that are caught in the fishermen's nets.

Hayat is a half-creature: distanced and marginalised by women, she cannot really fit into the world of men; she captures mermaids, but in part she is one herself. Her uniqueness is not motivated, we do not know how she managed to survive, nor how she hunts, yet this is the only element that justifies her emancipation, which is thus given a priori, diminishing the viewer's empathy and understanding.

Scales retains the elements of charm and mystery in the staging of the fairytale-like setting, but the potential effectiveness of the story is weakened by somewhat sketchy developments and a lack of real character development. Thus only its symbolic value remains.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.




Release Date:

2 September 2019 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Scales See more »

Filming Locations:

Musandam, Oman

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed