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Hidden Faces
A film by Claire Hunt and Kim Longinotto
England, 1990, 52 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W99238
Originally intended as a film about internationally renowned feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi, HIDDEN FACES develops into a fascinating portrayal of Egyptian women’s lives in Muslim society. In this collaborative documentary, Safaa Fathay, a young Egyptian woman living in Paris, returns home to interview the famed writer and activist, but becomes disillusioned with her. Illuminated by passages from El Saadawi’s work, the film follows Fathay’s journey to her family home and discovers similar complex frictions between modernity and tradition. Her mother’s decision to return to the veil after twenty years and her cousins’ clitoridectomies reveal a disturbing renewal of fundamentalism. This absorbing documentary broaches the contradictions of feminism in a Muslim environment; a startling, unforgettable picture of contemporary women in the Arab world.


Melbourne Film Festival, Best Documentary
Films de Femmes, Créteil, France, Public Prize and Jury Special Mention

  • Cinema du Réel, France

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    “Extremely helpful for other women of color, while it may also bring ‘western’ feminists a step closer to understanding the struggles of women in Egypt.”
    Simone Farkondeh

    “Tells you more about Mubarak’s Egypt than ten formal news programs.”
    The Guardian

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us