Egypt, 2006, 68 minutes
Fri, May 4 / 04:00 / Kabuki / THES04K
Mon, May 7 / 09:10 / PFA / THES07P
Tue, May 8 / 07:30 / Kabuki / THES08K
The streets of Cairo, Egypt are no place for a young girl. Dangerous and unstable, they provide little reprieve from the dirty underbelly of urban life, where kidnappings are as frequent as police abuse. Yet, in this world where food, protection and love are a scarcity, a sextet of teenage girls have found an unlikely home. Forced onto the streets through varying circumstances, they protect one another against hope. Tata, their self-proclaimed leader, runs away from home; Iman, mother to Aya and Islam, begs for medicine and clothes every day since her husband was placed in jail; Dunya, whose father threatens to drag her back home with a knife, will not return for fear of being beaten; and Abeer knows her father will kill her if she doesn’t produce a marriage or birth certificate for the child she is soon to conceive out of wedlock. The only saving grace in the girls’ lives is Hind, a woman they call "big sister" who calls on them to provide counseling and love not on behalf of the state but from the goodness of her own heart. Filmmaker Tahani Rached captures the girls’ unending struggles, their addictions to glue sniffing and pill popping, their childbirths and their lowly place in a male-dominated world (where a boy can scar a girl’s face once he has slept with her), as well as their small triumphs, without sentimentality. In doing so, she naturally exposes the false bravado as well as the undeniable resilience these girls must summon up every day just to live the only way they know how.
Rise and Shine
True to its name, this amusing short captures a morning in the life of Sanaa, whose inability to find her house key before work sets her off on a philosophical monologue about the nature of her unfulfilled life. (Sherif Elbindary, Egypt 2006, 9 min.)
West Coast Premiere. Presented in association with Mad Cat Women’s International Film Festival with support from the Consulate General of Egypt, San Francisco.