"Inshallah A Boy": delves into gender, inheritance, and societal norms

The Jordanian film, recently honored at Red Sea Festival highlights cinematic excellence

(Photo: Twitter/X)

The Jordanian film, “Inshallah A Boy,” shares the narrative of issues facing women about inheritance laws, gender-based issues, and the complexities of death, and grief. Recently honored with the Best Actress award for Mouna Hawa at the third edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival, this cinematic masterpiece transcends the screen, delving into the profound challenges faced by women like Nawal. The film unfolds Nawal's poignant journey in a patriarchal Jordanian society, where a woman's identity is intricately tied to the existence of a male heir.

Filmed against the backdrop of Amman with the support of the Royal Film Commission - Jordan, “Inshallah A Boy” artfully navigates the injustices thrust upon Nawal following her husband's demise. The intricate dance of inheritance laws forces her into a battle for her rightful share, leading her to fabricate a pregnancy to navigate the societal pressures orchestrated by her own family.

Rasheed draws inspiration from real-life situations, propelling the audience into a contemplation of the consequences when women defy traditional norms. The film sheds light on the pervasive lack of control over destinies and the persistent violations of women's rights in the Arab world.

Inshallah A Boy” becomes a prism through which Rasheed spotlights conservative societal views on women, particularly those suspected of deviating from societal norms. As the first Jordanian film featured at the Cannes Film Festival, it proudly carries the weight of representing Jordan on an international stage, anticipating the diverse reactions of a global audience.

Rasheed acknowledges the evolving nature of Jordanian cinema, recognizing the sensitivity of society to its portrayal on the big screen. He emphasizes the importance of presenting powerful daily life stories, cautioning against perpetuating an idealized society that lacks authenticity.

The film transcends Nawal's struggles, unraveling broader societal issues faced by Jordanian women against oppressive structures. Themes of motherhood, abortion rights, and the intersection of religion in women's lives weave seamlessly into the narrative, catalyzed by standout performances from Hawa and Yumna Marwan.

The antagonists in the story, symbolized by Adnan's brother Rifqi and Nawal's brother Ahmad, exemplify familial betrayal, offering hollow support while perpetuating her struggles. Through nuanced characters, the film invites the audience to ponder moral questions, particularly around the right to inheritance.

Inshallah A Boy” emerges not merely as a film but as a compelling narrative that reverberates with profound societal issues, leaving an indelible mark on its audience. Rasheed's nuanced storytelling, coupled with the stellar performances of the cast, elevates this cinematic experience to a powerful and emotionally resonant exploration of the challenges faced by women in Jordanian society.

As the credits roll, “Inshallah A Boy” remains a testament to the resilience of women like Nawal, echoing the words of the director: "well-ordered charity begins with oneself," reminding us that every character exists in a nuanced gray area, navigating the complexities of human nature and societal expectations.

Critical acclaim and awards:

  • Lauded at international film festivals, receiving nine awards including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival's Gan Foundation Award and Rail D'Or Award for Best Feature Film.

  • Recognized for Best Performance at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Best Actress at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature at the Mystic Film Festival.

  • Chosen by Jordan to represent the country in the 2024 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, marking a significant moment in Jordanian cinema.

  • Featured in renowned film festivals like Karlovy Vary, Melbourne, BFI London, Sydney, Toronto, Hamburg, New Zealand, and World Cinema Amsterdam.

اضافة اعلان

Production and team:

  • Directed by Al-Rasheed and co-written with Delphine Agut and Rula Nasser.

  • Stars Mouna Hawa, Haitham Omari, Salwa Nakkara, Yumna Marwan, Mohammad Al-Jizawi, Islam Al-Awadi, and Celina Rabab'a.

  • Produced by Imaginarium Films, co-produced by Georges Films and Bayt Al-Shawareb, and distributed by MAD Solutions and Lagoonie Film Production in the Arab world.

  • International sales and distribution in France handled by Pyramide International.


Director's background:

  • Rasheed is a Jordanian director and writer (born 1985) with an MFA in cinematic arts, specializing in directing and editing.

  • Recognized as one of the five Arab Stars of Tomorrow by Screen International in 2016.

  • Attended the Talent Campus at the 57th Berlinale and has directed award-winning short films across various Arab and international film festivals.

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