SynopsisExperiencing violence is commonplace for Syrian women but they do not discuss the prevalence of – often sexual – exploitation for fear of revenge. A collective of young women want to break the taboo with a theatre project. But how free are they themselves?
Everyday life in Syria is not only marked by years of war but also by internalised misogyny and violence against women both within the family and in the workplace. It is not discussed, and harassment seems to be a commonplace expression of authority. Many women are pathologised and admitted to psychiatric wards, and even extreme abuse is rarely reported. In Damascus, a collective of young female actors comes together to research the topic. They plan to use the moving anonymous statements of countless women to create a stage play that will break taboos. But Eliana, Inana, Farah, Grace and Souhir face resistance – from their families and even during discussions within the group itself. When their feminist project suddenly encounters unexpected hurdles, their enthusiasm is put to its toughest test yet.
Syrian duo Talal Derki and Heba Khaled directed their film from the distance of their Berlin exile and together with Ali Wajeeh. In the film’s voice-over commentary, Heba Khaled puts the images and the oppression of Syrian women into context and draws comparisons with her own story as well as that of the actor Sabah Al Salem.