Arab women lead ‘new generation’ in documentary film-making

EL-GOUNA, Egypt: Young Arab women directors are making their mark in Egypt with documentaries tackling subjects ranging from femicide to revolution.

At the El-Gouna Film Festival, Iraqi actress and director Zahraa Ghandour, 30, discussed her feature documentary, Women of my Life.

"The main theme is the life and death of young women and girls in Iraq. It explores how Iraqi society deals with femicide as if it's normal," she told AFP.

"In the last few years, a new generation has come to the fore born in the 90s and 2000s with a new direction," said Ghandour.

This was prominent especially after the Oct 2019 protests calling for the toppling of the ruling class in Iraq.

"We want to break free from the stereotypes that world cinema boxes us into," she said.

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"It's like there are trends and they (international backers) want us to fit into these funding guidelines," said Ghandour.

Women of My Life, in which Ghandour plays one of the main characters, follows the gruesome death of a young woman suspected to have been carried out by male relatives.

"As Iraqis in general, our lives are unstable but the targeted killing of women in particular … cannot be trivialised," she said.

Artmotion Asia

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