Women’s sexuality and the sexual harassment of women are two hot topics of discussion internationally, and the Arab world is no exception. In Egypt specifically, about 95% of women report being sexually harassed on the street. That’s an enormous amount. Women are hypersexualized and their value is often based largely on their sexuality and their ability to reproduce. For AFF 2016 we have paired two films that explore different aspects of women’s places in Egyptian society and their personal agency. Mother of the Unborn  deals with fertility and The People’s Girls handles catcalling and other forms of street harassment.  The films will be screened together, tickets can be purchased here!

Mother of the Unborn

Directed by Nadine Salib

Country: Egypt 

This documentary explores a forgotten corner of Egypt where lives an infertile woman who is yearning for a child. Hanan lingers between a dream that is slowly slipping away and the struggle of finding a place where she belongs. While everything that surrounds her bustles with fertility and mortality, she wonders how to give meaning to the time that she has in between.

Mother of the Unborn won the FIPRESCI prize for best documentary at the Abu Dhabi Film festival in 2014 as well as the Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance at IDFA.

Um Ghayeb Trailer 2014 from Um Ghayeb on Vimeo.

This film is 85 minutes long and will be shown in Arabic with English subtitles.

Mother of the Unborn will be shown in Berkeley on October 16th at Shattuck Cinemas. Purchase your tickets here.

The People’s Girls

Directed by Colette Ghunim and Tinne Van Loon

Country: Egypt

The UN reported that over 99% of Egyptian women have suffered from sexual harassment in their lifetime. Through a series of interviews and social experiments, this short documentary film takes a closer look at Egypt to explore what causes harassment and how women are fighting back. This film aims to serve as a catalyst for public debate on this topic, not only in Egypt, but also internationally.

The People’s Girls won the SilverRemi Award at Worldfest Houston and Best Egyptian Film at the International Open Film Festival. It was also a Flickers official selection at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

This film is 28  minutes long and will be shown in Arabic and English with English subtitles.

The People’s Girls will be shown in Berkeley on October 16th at Shattuck Cinemas. Purchase your tickets here.

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