EXCLUSIVE: Trailer for CPH:DOX title As I Want
- Samaher Alqadi’s film documents the protests following the string of severe sexual assaults that took place in Tahrir Square in 2013
Presented in the Encounters strand of this year’s Berlinale, Palestinian director Samaher Alqadi’s debut feature As I Want [+see also:
film profile] had its international premiere at this year’s CPH:DOX, competing for the F:ACT Award.
In this feature, Alqadi documents the protests – and her personal odyssey – following the brutal episode of mass sexual assault taking place in Tahrir Square, Cairo on 25 January 2013. The attacks, mostly perpetrated by young men aged 20-30, involved women of any age. Rapists took advantage of the confusion caused by the huge crowd which had gathered on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution. When Alqadi becomes pregnant during filming, she starts to re-examine the constructs of her own childhood in Palestine and what it means to be a woman and a mother in the Middle East. She also begins an imaginary conversation with her mother, who died before she could see her one last time.
In her director’s statement, Alqadi explains: "The recent rise in women’s voices against sexual harassment and gang rape within Egyptian society marks a maturing moment in the country’s feminist movement, similar to #MeToo in the US. This is certainly not a new phenomenon, nor is it coming out of the blue. It is a direct result of the women’s solidarity and revolutionary movements of 2013, as depicted in As I Want, which laid the groundwork for the current social crisis and "outing" of sexual predators long immune from guilt. But Egypt is not alone in seeing women's pushback against an out-of-control patriarchy. In Palestine, we have witnessed mass outrage over the torture and killing of Israa Ghareeb, because she "dishonoured the family" – a story I can relate to as I was almost murdered by my own brother when I was 16 for similar reasons. Across the world, thousands of women are raising their voices against gender inequality and violence against women. I hope that with this film, I can contribute to breaking the silence and opening up a wider debate to encourage women to show their collective power, demand their rights, and change their lives for the better."
As I Want was produced by Karim El Hakim for Egypt’s Prophecy Films and co-produced by Nefise Özkal Lorentzen and Jørgen Lorentzen for Norway’s Integral Films & Litterature, Serge Gordey for France’s Temps Noir, Thomas Kaske for Germany’s Kaske Film and Mohanad Yaqubi for Palestine’s Idioms Films. Prague-based outfit Filmotor is in charge of its international sales.
Check our exclusive trailer below:
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