“It is aberrant to consider that there is only gender violence if there are traces of physical violence”

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“I find it interesting that people see it and say ‘holy shit, the same thing is happening to me, I’m going to remedy it'”. Hiba Abouk (Madrid, 1986) does not waver in his words when condemning machismo. Nor when it comes to highlighting that more and more women find the strength to denounce their aggressors and generate resistance beyond the label of victim, precisely in a week in which the law of ‘ only yes is yes’.

I killed my husband (J’ai tué mon mari), a psychological thriller that delves into gender violence hidden in words, gestures and whispers, arrives this Sunday at Calle 13 with a plot centered “on a social drama”, Abouk indicates in his meeting with EL ESPAÑOL. “The aesthetic seems brutal to me,” says the actress, who considers that the genre “has been renewed” and that, in her latest work, in which she dares with French, the story “is carried by the characters.”

The fiction presents Anna (Erika Sainte), a woman who has been enduring abuse in her marriage for years and who, during one of her fights with her partner, Manuel (Antoine Gouy), decides to put an end to her suffering. An act that promises to bring him peace, but ends up turning into torment. Between a rock and a hard place is Laure (Abouk), his stepsister and her best friend.

“I really liked the complexity that it has,” explains the interpreter in reference to her character. “She doesn’t want to accept what’s going on.” Laure, who shows a high degree of complicity with her stepbrother, does not quite believe Anna’s accusations of mistreatment, and it is precisely in that duality, “between borders and excesses”, in which the protagonists swim.

“All the characters are complex and the appearances are tricky,” he explains. Antoine Gouy to THE SPANISH. The French actor describes Manuel as “dual”, a man with “two faces”: “a public facet in which he is stellar, a perfect lawyer, father of a family, affectionate with his wife…” and another in which exploits his “perverse and toxic” side, especially in privacy. “It’s exciting for an actor to understand the mechanics of such a personality,” he adds.

Antoine Gouy poses with Hiba Abouk at the presentation of ‘I killed my husband’, at the Santo Mauro Hotel in Madrid.


submerged violence

Comments, harassment, contempt and a tone with humiliating overtones. Violence is not only impregnated in blows, but also in words. “It is absurd to consider that there is only gender violence if there are traces of physical violence,” Abouk replies bluntly. “The subtlety with which the subject is treated in the series shows that domestic violence is not limited to bruises,” adds Gouy.

Both actors consider that I killed my husband it becomes the perfect reflective exercise. And his most palpable lesson resides precisely in the character of Manuel. “He has a lot of charisma, he is bright, but behind closed doors he can be a monster,” says the actress. “The way you speak, what you say, the pressure you can generate on your partner… all of that is part of gender-based violence,” she says.

“The subtlety with which the subject is treated in the series demonstrates that spousal violence is not limited to just bruises.”

Antoine Gouy, actor

The thriller directed by Henri Debeurme delves into the emotional roller coaster of a destroyed woman, who feels completely useless and whose situation places her, socially speaking, on the pedestal of madness. “The woman’s word is questioned when there is a testimony,” says Gouy.

The French actor admires the “courage” of those women who are capable of confronting their abuser, but criticizes the society that does not protect them. “It is a daily poison, which occurs every day, with each sentence… through the series we understand these small destructive mechanisms” behind a pattern of gender violence.

Hiba Abouk as Laure in 'I Killed My Husband'

Hiba Abouk as Laure in ‘I Killed My Husband’

13TH Street

From Paris with love

Hiba Abouk has managed to combine her motherhood with work, something she considers “lucky”. In I killed my husband he crosses two goals off his list in one fell swoop: to prove himself in another language and “challenge me in a place where no one knows me.”

With French, Abouk launches “a project that I visualized years ago”, with a language “that I control”, a country that shapes a “fiction that I really like” and with “different colleagues and work dynamics”. Of course, the actress does not rule out “continuing to work in Spain” in the recent future.

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