Corpus of short films

Thursday 14 March
Les Cinémas du Grütli
Rue du Général-Dufour 16 1204 Geneva

Through a series of three short films, this session highlights feminist voices from the Middle East. In her textured animated film, Yegane Moghaddam recalls the special bond woven with her school uniform as a young schoolgirl in Tehran. This is followed by audio testimonials from Raha and Marwa, two Afghan women whose lives have been turned upside down by the Taliban takeover of Kabul. Finally, the exchange between Nouf Aljowaysir and an AI reveals the dissonance between an intimate life story, dense and shaped by exile, and the AI’s analysis, limited and biased. These lived experiences bear witness to the challenges facing many young girls today, and raise the following question: how does one pave her identity in the face of so many external pressures?

Our Uniform by Yegane Moghaddam, 2023, Iran, 7′, ov farsi, STFR

A young Iranian girl recalls her school days by going through the folds and fabrics of her old uniform. The film is a social satire on the dressing conventions imposed on young children.

Inside Kaboul by Caroline Gillet and Denis Walgenwitz, 2023, France, 30′, ov english, VF

In the summer of 2021, the Taliban return to power in Afghanistan and the destinies of two young women, Raha and Marwa, are turned upside down. Raha has chosen to stay in Kabul; she is confronted with the violence of the regime and the crisis into which the country is gradually sinking. Marwa, on the other hand, has left and, after spending several months in a refugee camp in Abu Dhabi, has just arrived near Hamburg. How does one grow up and plan for the future at the age of 20? For Raha and Marwa, whose worlds were suddenly turned upside down, these common questions for young women of their age are particularly acute.

Where Am I From? by Nouf Aljowaysir, 2022, USA and Saudi Arabia, 12′, ov arabic/english, STFR

Born in Saudi Arabia, of Iraqi origin, and living in the United States, the director can hardly answer the question “where are you from?” In this original and incisive video essay, Aljowaysir exchanges with an artificial intelligence system about her identity, shaped by exile. The uncomfortable conversation that ensues reveals the Western biases and prejudices infused into these technologies, and the impossibility for an AI to capture the human experience, its smells, memories and feelings.

The screening is followed by a discussion with an expert on the topics covered. The session is moderated by Illan Acher, Amnesty training manager.

Theme of the session: Feminist Voices from the Middle East – Intimate narratives and social commitments