Jasad & The Queen of Contradictions

A film by Amanda Homsi-Ottosson

UK/Lebanon | 2011 | 40 minutes | Color | DVD | Arabic | Subtitled | Order No. 131089

SYNOPSIS

Lebanese poet and writer Joumana Haddad has stirred controversy in the Middle East for having founded Jasad (the Body), an erotic quarterly Arabic-language magazine. Dedicated to the body’s art, science and literature, Jasad is one of the first of its kind in the Arab world and has caused a big debate in the Arabic region not only for its explicit images, erotic articles and essays on sex in Arabic but also for the fact that an Arab woman is behind it all. Despite Beirut’s external appearance of freedom portrayed through its infamous nightlife and women’s stylish and open revealing fashion sense, this is all still taboo. JASAD & THE QUEEN OF CONTRADICTIONS, by Lebanese director Amanda Homsi-Ottosson, tackles the subject of sexuality in Lebanon, giving insight on the rare use of the Arabic language to discuss sex and erotica. Different views regarding the magazine and sexuality are also given by the head of a women’s rights organization, a sexual health educator and a doctor who performs hymen reconstruction surgeries. Despite the debates, the threats and the lack of funds, one passionate woman shows no sign of slowing down her small steps towards a “sexual revolution” in the Arab world.

PRESS

“The documentary opens up discussion about sexuality through a magazine that breaks taboos and challenges both stereotypes and language… what Haddad likes to call "a slap out of amnesia."

The Frontline Club

"JASAD tackles the subject of sexuality in Lebanon, giving insight on the rare use of the Arabic language to discuss these taboo topics."

Muslim Societies in Asia and the Pacific at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa

“About a fascinating Lebanese poet and writer Joumana Haddad who has stirred controversy in the Middle East for having founded 'Jasad' (the Body), an erotic quarterly Arabic-language magazine.”

International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam

“Opens up discussion and debate.”

Al Arabiya News

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
  • Athena Film Festival
  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
  • The Frontline Club, London
  • The Royal Film Commission, Jordan
  • Film Middle East Now

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Amanda Homsi-Ottosson

Amanda Homsi-Ottosson is a Lebanese producer currently based in London. She was brought up in neighboring Syria during the civil war period in Lebanon. Amanda went back to her native Lebanon to pursue her university studies at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, and graduated with a BA in Communication Arts with an emphasis on Radio, TV, and Film. Since, she has worked in TV Production in both Lebanon and the UK, on topics usually involving the Middle East. Credits include the BBC2, BBC3, Dubai TV and the Travel Channel. Currently based in the UK, she founded her company, Black Unicorn Productions, in 2009 in order to make documentaries on topics that she is passionate about. (12/12)

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