By Laila Azzeh
Jordan Times, Amman.
Women’s Film Week opened on Sunday, offering a lens into the world of women, their agony and aspirations in patriarchal societies — a characteristic that no country is free of as depicted by the screenings.
From the US, Italy, Spain and Denmark to Morocco, Turkey and Palestine, the nine films and documentaries, two of which will be screened daily at 6pm and 8pm at the Rainbow Theatre, offer narratives that depict stories of girls and women from different walks of life.
“This year, our films are dedicated to… the dreams of working women that balance their professional, social and family life [like] a circus’ balancing act,” said Ghada Saba, the event’s artistic director.
Speaking at the opening of the third edition of the week, organised by UN Women and the Royal Film Commission, she added that films not only entertain people, but “tell complex or common stories, describe dramas and comical situations”.
“Freedom of expression and the culture of positive change always prevail,” said Saba, a Beijing+20 Gender Equality Champion.
HRH Princess Basma, UN Women goodwill ambassador, attended the opening of the week, which marked International Women’s Day.
Breaking the “silence” of violence against women will be focus of the films screened during the week, according to organisers.
Giuseppe Belsito, representative of UN Women Jordan, stressed the importance of the event, which has become synonymous with the cultural celebrations of women’s day, expressing hope that the common vision of fulfilling Beijing+20 promises and empowering women will be fully realised.
“Dance of Outlaws”, directed by Mohammad El Aboudi, was the first documentary screened at the event.
The Finnish-Moroccan narrative tells the story of Hind, a 15-year-old Moroccan girl who was raped and consequently denied an official identity, which leaves her with no option but to work as a prostitute and dancer.
Despite the oddness of her situation, she does not let go of her dreams of dignity, love and motherhood.
The screening was followed by a Q & A session that allowed participants to share their views on the documentary.
A photo exhibition titled “Step it Up! Voices of Strength from Creative Women in Jordan” is being held on the sidelines of the event, showing UNESCO and UN Women’s projects to empower women.
The Women’s Film Week concludes on March 12.