Tiger Stripes

Malaysia | 2023 | 95 min. | Amanda Nell Eu

In this surreal Malaysian coming-of-age drama with teeth, rebellious 12-year-old Zaffan has hit puberty early, except her physical and behavioral changes seem to be anything but normal, terrifying her family and her patriarchal Muslim school. It seems to be something…monstrous.

In Malaysia's Oscar® submission for Best International Feature, Tiger Stripes follows the journey of 12-year-old Zaffan, portrayed by newcomer Zafreen Zairizal, as she navigates early puberty ahead of her classmates. Directed and written by Amanda Nell Eu in her feature debut, the film depicts Zaffan's transformation from a spirited girl part of a close-knit friend group to an outsider facing scrutiny as her body changes set her apart from her peers. With each rejection, Zaffan’s growing self-consciousness embodies monstrous forms. The film serves as a sharp allegory for society's treatment of girls entering womanhood, showcasing Eu's distinct originality as a first-time filmmaker while echoing more familiar stories of body transformations. It offers a more critical perspective than Pixar's Turning Red, a deeper earnestness than Teen Wolf, and a more fantastical take on Cronenberg’s body horror work. Tiger Stripes was awarded the best feature prize at the 2023 Cannes Critics' Week, presenting Western audiences with the emergence of bold new talent from Malaysia's film industry.

—SuJ’n Chon

  • Director: Amanda Nell Eu
  • Principal Cast: Zafreen Zairizal, Deena Ezral, Piqa, Shaheizy Sam, June Lojong
  • Country: Malaysia, Taiwan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, Qatar, Indonesia
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 95 min.
  • Producer: Yulia Evina Bhara, Fran Borgia, Fei Ling Foo, Ellen Havenith
  • Screenplay: Amanda Nell Eu, Samm Haillay
  • Cinematographers: Jimmy Gimferrer
  • Editors: Carlo Francisco Manatad
  • Music: Gabber Operandi
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Cannes’ Critics’ Week 2023 (Grand Prize), Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2023 (Narcisse Award, Best Feature Film), Sun Valley Film Festival 2024 (Best Narrative Feature Film), Official Academy Awards® Submission 2024 (International Feature)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Malay
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • US Distributor: Dark Star Pictures
  • International Sales: Films Boutique