News / Middle East

Films Explore Gender Relations in Traditional Societies

Films Explore Women's Role in Traditional Societiesi
X
September 25, 2013 1:43 PM
Two new independent films, one by Afghan director Atiq Rahimi, and another by the first female Saudi filmmaker, Haifaa al-Mansour, shed light on gender relations in two traditional societies. Rahimi’s film unravels in a fantastical country based on war-torn Afghanistan. The other takes place in Saudi Arabia. Though very different in style and treatment, both films zoom in on a woman's world and perceptions in gender segregated societies. VOA's Penelope Poulou has more.
Penelope Poulou
Two new independent films, one by Afghan director Atiq Rahimi, and another by the first female Saudi filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour, explore gender relations in two traditional societies. 

Rahimi’s film unravels in an imagined country based on war-torn Afghanistan. The other takes place in Saudi Arabia. Although very different in style and treatment, both films zoom in on a woman's world and perceptions in gender segregated societies.
 
A young woman in Atiq Rahimi's film The Patience Stone pours out her heart to her comatose husband about years of emotional neglect and abuse.
 
The wife finds solace in her unresponsive husband. He becomes her Patience Stone, a legendary stone that, according to tradition, holds secrets and provides relief.
 
Afghan activist Hossai Wardak says Rahimi paints an accurate picture of the typical Afghan loveless marriage and family relations in male-dominated societies like Afghanistan.  
 
“Marriage tends to be a relation where it’s more of being able to produce babies and expand families and to have somebody to take care of you," said Wardak.
 
She says the absence of communication in many arranged marriages leads to mutual unhappiness, domestic violence and violence at large.
 
Why are there wars? Why do we end up with violence?

"It’s because there is no human compassion,” she said.
 
In her Saudi film, Wadjda, Haifaa al-Mansour also exposes gender taboos. 
 
The film centers on 10-year-old Wadjda, who dreams of buying a bicycle despite society's disapproval. The film follows her as she plans to purchase the bike while her mother fears losing her husband to a second wife because she is unable to produce a son.
 
As the first female filmmaker in her country, al-Mansour paves the way for other Saudi women in film.  
 
"Religious leaders are re-examining, re-visiting their literature and they are becoming more tolerant and more accepting of women, for example, working in a mixed environment," al-Mansour said. "So there is change in Saudi and I think there is a striking difference between Saudi Arabia and a place like Pakistan or Afghanistan." 
 
Saudi Arabia has selected Wadjda as its first ever entry for the foreign language Oscar.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid