Sunday, April 6, 2014

Good cinema by women

Three powerful movies I watched recently were all directed and/or written by women.

Cherien Dabis wrote and directed, 'Amreeka', a movie about a divorced Arab mom from the West Bank who immigrates to the United States with her teenage son and learns she cannot, for a minute, let down her resilience to live a life with dignity.  


'Amu' was written and directed by Shonali Bhose who based the movie on her book by the same name. 

The NYT review says something mild about Shonali Bhose not yet in perfect form because this is her first movie (amidst a positive review), but to hell with all these professional reviewers who supposedly know everything. The storyline was gripping and the lighter themes were adequately explored and exposed while the main troubling one rightly haunts your sleep.
The trailer ends with Brinda Karat's voice telling Amu, "you are strong enough to know the truth." The same goes for us. 


And Wadjda is extra special among these specials. It is directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia.  Waad Mohammed plays the very charming 11-year old who has set her eyes on a bicycle -- something the Saudi society has forbidden girls to covet or ride.  The undercurrents of her mother's life paint a distant picture from the pampered, rich and helpless harem wives' image that seeps the average westernized consciousness.     


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