Malmo Arab Film Fest Focuses on Violence Against Women

Published April 15th, 2021 - 07:00 GMT
“Chronicles of Her”
“Chronicles of Her” (Twitter)
It is based on the 2017 United Nations report on honour killings, which indicates that one in every two crimes committed against women was perpetrated by a member of their family.

“Chronicles of Her” was screened at the Malmo Arab Film Festival as part of the “Arabian Nights” feature.

The first film is a long fictional feature entitled “I told you to be stop” from Lebanon and the second, a Saudi film entitled “Forty Years and a Night”, is one of the important narrative films that shed light on women’s issues.

“Chronicles of Her” is a feature film that brings together five short fictional films from five Arab countries: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon.

Produced in 2020 within the framework of the first cycle of the UNESCO Regional Programme (developing a film sector that responds to gender issues in the Maghreb and the Levant / Med Film) with funding and partnership with the European Union.

The ideas of the five films were based on reports issued by the United Nations on issues of violence against women in the Arab region.

The first, entitled “Diana”, is a Jordanian film written and directed by Maysoon Khaled and produced by Janna Zainal Din. The film stars  young artist Rakeen Saad  along with Souhaib Nashwan, Mohammad Ghassan and Karam Ghasab.

It is based on the 2017 United Nations report on honour killings, which indicates that one in every two crimes committed against women was perpetrated by a member of their family.

The film tells the story of Diana, a young woman from a poor rural family who works with her father in the field. Her fate was to die only because she dared love a young man who could possibly fulfill some of her dreams.

The feature highlights the idea of legal protection extended to the so-called honour killings, which claim the lives of hundreds of innocent young women.

The second film, a Tunisian production, bore the title “Crossroad Happiness” written and directed by Emna Najjar and edited by Saber Guiblaoui.

Khadija Baccouche and Mouhdhab Remili starred in a story which underlines the results of a study confirming that 30 percent of married women are subjected to some form of physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partners.

Its plot revolves around the life of a young wife who suffers from her husband’s violence and whose whole ambition in life is to give birth to or adopt a child, but she fails miserably to convince her violent but weak husband of that. So she tries to replace her real life with a fake one.

The film “Complaint” is a Lebanese production that presents a thorny issue – that of marital rape.

Hoda, a young lady, played by Vanessia Mghammes, is subjected to daily rape by her husband and when she turns to the police, she discovers that she is the suspect, so she prefers prison to returning to her bitter reality.

The film relied on a report issued by the United Nations confirming that only ten percent of women subjected to violence seek help.

What distinguishes “Chronicles of Her”, and the rest of the features, is the strong presence of child women’s issues.

One of those films is “Maidat Al Rahman”, from Egypt.

This story revolves around the issue of child labour, which is quite prevalent in Arab countries, especially in Egypt. A United Nations report estimates their number at about 28 million children.

The second film,  entitled “Game” is from Morocco.

The story revolves around the child Camellia, who is subjected to sexual harassment, which will expose her to great psychological pressure. The film was also based on United Nations reports.

“Chronicles of Her” has won many international awards, including the award for best short fictional film at the International Film Festival “Through the Eyes of Women,” which coincided with the celebration of International Women’s Day, in addition to several other awards.

Tunisian film “Chekoua” (Complaint) was given the award for best director and best short fictional film at the Salt House International Creative Film Festival.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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