From Cairo (Min al-Qahira)
In the streets of Cairo, documentary filmmaker Hala Galal moves purposefully and quickly. She presents a brave face, but she is in constant fear of being harassed (or worse) just for being a working single woman. Galal follows two women, Heba and Aya, who challenge the norms and limitations of women in Egypt with a completely different fearlessness.
Heba tries to find space in her life as a single mother and photojournalist to create art that, among other things, focuses on the existence of the female body. Although money is tight, her small home is always filled with laughter and the smell of home-cooked food. Meanwhile, Aya tries to find a foothold in her relationship with family, religion and passion for film. The contact sport of roller derby takes up more and more of her time, and the community and closeness to the other women on the team forces Aya to reconsider her position as a woman.
All three women have a desire to create space for more voices and nuanced perspectives in Egypt. They live alone and work in art specifically, through which they find their way, achieve their dreams and find some happiness—regardless of the consequences.
documentary, Egypt 2021, 65 min, Arabic with English ST
Written and directed Hala Galal | Camera Kesmat ElSayed, Ines Marzouk, Mostafa Bahgat | Sound Mohab Ezz, Nehal el Marghany | Editing Aya Yusuf | Producer Kesmat Elsayed | Production SEERA Films
from the press
The authenticity of the women and their stories stand out (Egyptian Streets)
A portrait of resilience (Hopkins Centre for the Arts)