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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid