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My Heart is My Witness
A film by Louise Carré
Canada, 1996, 56 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W99626
MY HEART IS MY WITNESS, by renowed French-Canadian filmmaker, Louise Carré, investigates the status of women in Islam through interviews with men and women from Mali, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Though often caricatured in the Western media as a homogenous group of veiled subordinates, this documentary shows the diversity of Muslim women, informed by both religion and culture. In Mali, women speak of the comfort afforded by their religion, while at the same time recognizing that Islam is abused by men to thwart women’s development. Though women maintain important roles in the economy and educational system, the intersection of religion and local culture facilitates their subservience within the polygamous society. In Morocco, while some put their faith and conviction in Islam and its proscriptions, others believe that only education and struggle can help women. This sentiment, that “Women’s rights are never given, they are always fought for,” is echoed by women from Algeria and Tunisia. Punctuated by reports of violence against women as reported in letters written by an Algerian woman, this moving and stirring exploration of women’s rights and restrictions in Northern Africa and the Arabic peninsula helps us understand these women’s lives, struggles and dreams.



QUOTES

    “Louise Carré combines excellent cinematography with compelling storytelling as she draws us into the lives of some fascinating Muslim women. This film puts a human face on what is so often caricatured in the West and offers complexity and nuance instead of stereotypes.”
    James Ketterer
    Center for Legislative Development,SUNY, Albany

    "The women Carre interviews during her odyssey to North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, reveals the rich diversity of women's experience in the Moslem world."
    Eloise Briere
    SUNY, Albany

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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections MUSLIM: Behind the Veil, BODY IMAGE: Women & Young Girls, and AFRICA IS A WOMAN'S NAME.

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