constellation
SERPENT

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Undesired bodies. Bodies containing the poison and the antidote. Sinuous bodies. Indomitable.

This program is under the blessing of Serpens. Its spirals weave the Ophiuchus, who longs to be the master of this poison. Serpens, a frequent symbol of treason, malice, and – lo and behold – its myths always involve women.

Films that do not attempt to deal with bodies, but rather are such bodies. The skin of Sudanese women under the sunbeams in a moment of contemplation, or the director’s body trying on a distant uncle’s belt in front of a mirror. Even bodies that fail to adjust to social standards – sometimes they remain independent, and yet they are lonely, as in Drought; sometimes they remain unsatisfied and restless, as in Mother of the Unborn.

The directors may represent Ophiuchus in this program; they handle the poison that frightens the top of the social ladder and produce an antidote that hurts just as much as the bite. They use dialectics in their arts to reinforce the distinct existences, just as this Anguitenens:

“The one who goes by Ophiuchus tries to break the great serpent spirals; while her, twisting herself, girdles his body; thus he seeks to untie the knots and her sinuous back. She, however, while turning her scruff, looks at him and returns, while he stretches his hands through her slack rings. There shall always be such struggle between them because they balance it with parallel forces”.¹

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¹ Cf. Manílio. In: FERNANDES, Marcelo Vieira.  Astronômicas, Manílio

Tradução, introdução e Notas. 2006. 289 f.

Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras Clássicas)

Faculdade  de  Filosofia,  Letras  e Ciências  Humanas  da  Universidade de  São  Paulo. USP,

São Paulo, 2006. p. 58.

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DROUGHT

(Lebanon, England, 2020, 15’)

directed by

*available in all countries

age rating 14+

SYNOPSIS

Carina is a real estate agent in Beirut who finds it hard to reach out to clients to view apartments. She roams the empty spaces that reflect her mundane existence. One night, Carina decides to bring a stranger to one of these empty houses.

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KHARTOUM OFFSIDE

(Sudan, Norway, Denmark, France, 2019, 76’)

directed by

*available only in Brazil

age rating ALL AUDIENCES

SYNOPSIS

A group of exceptional young ladies plays football in Khartoum, Sudan, where women are not encouraged to be a player due to the patriarchal society and the religious corrupted system that ruled Sudan for decades. Although they come from an “inferior” tribe and  from the lower class  of Khartoum’s Northern society, they are fearless and you will find them laughing at their struggle and, most importantly, they do not take no for an answer. So, they find underground ways to continue playing football, as they want to be recognized as Sudan women's national football team. The federation of football neglects them despite FIFA’s development funds for women’s football there. As a result, many  other players quit football but this marginalized group  does not lose hope. When federation elections take place, they hope for a change; A change for the whole system.

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MOTHER OF THE UNBORN

UM GHAYEB

(Egypt, 2014, 84’)

directed by

*available in all countries

age rating 12+

SYNOPSIS

In a forgotten corner of Egypt lives Hanan, a woman who has been yearning to have a child for 12 years. Hanan has no option but to live on the fringe of her community. She lingers between a dream that is slowly slipping away and her struggle to find a place where she belongs. Will her dream ever come true? And if it does, will this answer her questions around happiness, or happiness is just an illusion?

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SHAHMARAN

(Scotland, United Kingdom, 2020, 8’)

directed by

*available in all countries

age rating 14+

SYNOPSIS

Shahmaran, explores this theme of monstrous femininity, which stemmed from an interest in Medusa and her representations throughout history. I wanted to explore my heritage of being a half Iraqi woman and came across the Middle Eastern myth of Shahmaran, a half-snake, half-woman creature. The story has many different renditions and is often told differently from person to person and depending on which region in the Middle East. Shahmaran is traditionally used in imagery such as jewellery and paintings hung in people’s houses, as they believe that herimage protects their home from evil. I wanted to take this idea of myth spreading by word of mouth and the fact there is not much about Shahmaran as an opportunity to insert my own imagination and “facts” into this myth and also keeping alive a dying story.

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THE ADAM BASMA PROJECT

ةمسب مدآ عورشم

(Lebanon, Czech Republic, 2020, 15’)

directed by

*available in all countries

age rating 10+

SYNOPSIS

My uncle left Lebanon to become a bellydancer when he was just a teenager.  Growing up with only what he had left behind, I've been wondering my whole life  who Adam truly is.

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WHO IS AFRAID OF IDEOLOGY? PART I & II

(Lebanon, Curdistan, Syria, 2017-2019, Part I: 18’ – Part II: 39’)

directed by

*available in all countries

age rating ALL AUDIENCES

SYNOPSIS

Who is Afraid of Ideology? revolves around questions of ecology, feminism, social organization, war and economics struggle. The first Part, in the mountains of Kurdistan, the guerrilla led by Kurdish women leads us to consider space, plants, survival and economic battles. Then Part II takes place in Jinwar, literally the “place of women”, a village built for the exclusive use of women and in a cooperative. These strategies bring about self-governance, the creation and transmission of knowledge.

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WILD RELATIVES

(Lebanon, Norway, Germany, 2018, 66’)

directed by

*available in all countries

age rating ALL AUDIENCES

SYNOPSIS

Deep in the earth beneath Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should a disaster strike. Wild Relatives starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: in 2012 an international agricultural research center was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian Revolution turned war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups. Following the path of this transaction of seeds between the Arctic and Lebanon, a series of encounters unfold a matrix of human and non-human lives between these two distant spots of the earth. It captures the articulation between this large-scale international initiative and its local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out primarily by young migrant women. The meditative pace patiently teases out tensions between state and individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the journey of these seeds.