Women’s Film Week tackles : Women’s issues, celebrates their empowerment

Posters of movies screened by the Royal Film Commission on ‘Women’s Film Week’ (Photo: Royal Film Commission)
The 10th edition of the Women’s Film Week, which starts tomorrow to mark International Women’s Day, this year celebrates women empowerment through stories about their rights and leadership.اضافة اعلان

The two daily screenings of local and international films, at 6:00pm and 8:00pm, give the public the opportunity to learn about issues like women’s rights and leadership in adapting, mitigating and responding to climate change, in order to build a more sustainable future.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.

Festival artistic director Ghada Saba said that “this edition is special as it will be a chance to recognize the important women and girls contribution to a sustainable future”.

Selected films:

“Bikes vs. Cars”, by Fredrik Gertten. This Swedish documentary film reports from cities around the world about the need for bikes and the problems faced by those who ride them. One can see how these modes of transportation compare from Los Angeles to Toronto, São Paulo, Brazil and Copenhagen.

“Red Soil”, by Farid Bentoumi, is an ecological thriller that denounces the actions of large industrialists and the general consent of a society that prefers to look elsewhere.

Nour has just been hired as a nurse in the chemical plant where her father, a union representative and loyal company employee, has always worked. Meanwhile, a journalist leads an investigation into the company’s waste management practices. The two young women will gradually discover that this factory, a pillar of the local economy, hides many secrets.

Between lies about polluting discharges, doctored medical records and concealed accidents, Nour will have to choose: be silent, or betray her father to bring out the truth.

“Tuktuk”, by Mohamed Kheidr, is a short Egyptian narrative film inspired by a true story about Walla, who tries to gain her family some income after her husband illegally emigrates. Conditions force her to work as a tuktuk driver, get in a lot of trouble and face society’s violence, harassment and male domination of the tuktuk market.

“Mundo”, by Ana Edwards, is a short documentary that tackles women’s crisis of faith. With its religious theme, the movie follows Matilde, an old woman belonging to the Aymara people native to the mountains across Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Like any indigenous group, the Aymara have been subject to a wave of conversions. People like Matilde are doing their best to resist, but their beliefs are causing them grief as well.

“Women Flying Dreams”, by Ariel Gómez and Movimiento Creativo, is a short documentary that discusses topics like women’s inclusion in the workforce, gender equality and promoting better working environments for women in unconventional jobs.

“Kano Botanic Garden”, by Aliyu Ahmad, is a Nigerian short documentary about a professor of botany who establishes a botanical garden and uses it to educate students and the local society on the effects of deforestation, climate change and non-sustainable utilization of resources.

“Sunú”, by Teresa Camou Guerrerro, is a Mexican documentary film which shows how maize and everything it gives life to could be lost forever as it addresses the destruction of rural life and the threat to corn in Mexico.

Camou delves into the life of Cruz, a Rarámuri leader who from a very young age worked in defense of forests and the rights of his community and became an indigenous governor and trustee in the Sierra Tarahumara.

Faced with the threat posed to Mexico by the cultivation of genetically modified corn, farmers struggle to preserve the traditions of their communities, the diversity of seeds, and the right to food sovereignty.

“Losing Alaska”, by Tom Burke, is a documentary about an Alaskan community of some 375 souls suffering from the impact of global warming as rising water levels threaten their very existence.

The village of Newtok is slowly vanishing into the sea. The constant threat is a nightmare, and the ground disappearing under the villagers’ feet seems to belong to a horror movie plot.

“From the Kitchen to the Parliament”, by Stéphane Goël, is a Swiss documentary that follows four generations of women fighting the male electorate to grant women the right to participate in political decision-making. It is a film about equal rights, and a fun and deep insight into the fight for women’s suffrage.

“The Ants and the Grasshopper” is a documentary by Raj Patel and Zak Pipe. Trying to transform her village in Malawi with new farming methods to save it from drought, Anita Chitaya travels from Malawi to the US in an effort to convince Americans that climate change is real. During her journey, she explores how we can live more simply and sustainably.

“Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism”, by Sabine Derflinge, is an Austrian documentary on the rise and fall of one of the first feminists in a European government that came to power in a conservative country like Austria in the 1970s.

Dohnal achieved a lot for Austrian women through her consistent actions in 16 years of government work. Her fight for equality was always a fight for a society with a human face. Feminists, politicians and journalists are aware of the legacy that Dohnal left them and draw strength from what she achieved.

“There’s Something in the Water”, by Ian Daniel and Elliot Page, is a documentary drawing attention to the injustices and injuries caused by environmental racism. It follows indigenous and African Nova Scotian women fighting to protect their communities, their land, and their futures.

“Palazzo di Giustizia”, by Chiara Bellosi, follows events in the courthouse of a large Italian city. A hearing is under way in the court, of a gas station attendant who killed one of his two robbers.

These films highlight the role of women in society and their contributions to a better future, and celebrate their courage, achievements, and efforts worldwide.

The screenings, at the Rainbow Theater, last until March 12. The event is supported by the embassies of France, Chile, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Panama, Ireland and Nigeria, by an Egyptian participant, by the Irish Film Institute and by the French Cultural Institute in Jordan.

Read more Entertainment