Hello, Movie Lovers! This month’s spotlight is on films from MENA directed by women. All the protagonists are women who do not have to punch people to be strong female characters. The women, both fictional and those who created them, took the world by storm in their calm. Happy watching!
by Eman Bahrani
Wadjda (2012) by Haifaa al-Mansour
Wadjda wants to wear blue nail polish, converse shoes and make mixtapes. She wants to get a green bicycle to ride in the neighborhood. Wadjda also lives in Riyadh where bicycle-riding is frowned upon for girls. Will she defy the status quo to buy her dream bike?
Where Do We Go Now? (2011) by Nadine Labaki
As the civil war escalates in the rest of Lebanon, this remote village lives in oblivion and harmony. The church and the mosque are quite literally next door neighbors. Upon finding out through the radio, a series of events trigger violence between the men and the women need to collude to maintain the peace.
I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced (2014) by Khadija al-Salami
Nojoom is a ten-year-old from Yemen. Bullets shot in the air by men twice her age on her wedding night declare the slaughter of her childhood. She runs off to court to ask for divorce in a court that does not criminalize child marriage.
Fatima (2015) by Naima Mohamud and Philippe Faucon
Fatima is a divorced mother of two daughters. She works as a cleaning lady to afford her 18 year-old daughter's medical school expenses and for her revolting 15 year-old. Fatima's struggle with French is manifested in the strained relationship with her daughters who do not speak Arabic, and her alienation from society as an African-Muslim immigrant.
Submarine (2016) by Mounia Akl
Hala is a tempestuous woman from Lebanon. Whilst everyone in her village gave up hope and evacuated the garbage-ridden village, she rebelliously insists on staying home.