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A Woman's Word
(Palabra de Mujer)
A film by Silvia G. Ponzoda
Spain/Egypt/Lebanon/Morocco, 2004, 52 minutes, Color, DVD, Arabic, Subtitled
Order No. W07923
Beautiful and intimate, A WOMAN'S WORD depicts the life and writings of three exceptional authors of the Arab word – Nawal Al Saadawi from Egypt, Hanan Al Shaykh from Lebanon, and Janata Bennuna from Morocco. For all three women, becoming a writer was never a choice but a necessity – a vocation fought for and hard won. In her own way, each writer struggles as an Arab woman in a society that often wants to shut down her powerful voice. Conveying the intense drive of these women to write as a way to make sense of the world, to battle their sense of alienation or to express their political dissent, this documentary shatters the clichéd image of the oppressed and helpless Arab woman too often portrayed in the media.

A WOMAN'S WORD deftly weaves together interviews, family photos, voiceovers of each author reading from her work, and lingering, sensual footage of the cities each woman lives in. Each author discusses her childhood, her development as a writer, and the political and cultural forces that have shaped her life and work. By allowing the viewer to enter, for a moment, into the vibrant lives of these authors, this film offers an accessible introduction or insightful companion piece to the works of these authors.


San Diego Women Film Festival, Jury Award

  • Femmes en Resistance Film Festival
  • Int'l Women's Film Festival, Florence
  • Festival Internacional de Documentales "Santiago Alvarez in memoriam", Havana, Cuba
  • Docupolis, Festival Internacional Documental de Barcelona, Spain
  • Festival Cinema delle donne, Torino, Italy
  • Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Filmmor Women's Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey

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    “What is the purpose of literature within a world that suffers from so much destruction? A Woman’s Word attempts to answer this thought provoking question through the wise voices of three Arab women who share their experiences as writers living in oppressed societies. Together these strong women help shatter the powerless stereotypes of Arab women, and provide memorable perspectives on the art of writing. Recommended.”
    Educational Media Reviews Online

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    A Woman's Word is included in the following Special Collections.
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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, 2005
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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