Born in the home of a Baghdad midwife, director Zahraa is a witness to violence against women from girlhood. In a cinematic journey she interrogates the past in search of her missing friend and confronts lifelong fears and nightmares as she works with other women to imagine a better future.
Crimes are being committed in all social classes against girls and women in Baghdad. Particularly since the American war and occupation of Iraq. Subconsciously all women feel threatened that they can be the next victim of violence at any moment.
This reality pushes, investigative journalist Zahraa Ghandour to investigate the story of her childhood friend Noor. When both girls were only 9 years old, Zahraa witnessed Noor's family dragging her away, leading to her abandonment and disappearance. In her journey to find her missing friend, Zahraa uncovers secret worlds of abuse against women, crimes that happen with impunity and stories of girls who have managed to escape their disappearance.
Through a multifaceted search that pans back and forth in time, Zahraa must navigate her girlhood trauma and reality, where the death and disappearance of women are a daily occurrence in a war-ravaged Iraq.
With other women survivors who choose to fight back, Zahraa challenges reality by imagining a life free of fear for Iraqi women. She asks: how is it possible to find the truth about what happened to Noor in the middle of this chaos? How does one break out of this endless cycle of fear that everyone here is stuck in?
Director Zahraa Ghandour
Zahraa is a filmmaker, producer, and independent actor. She is the co-founder of KARADA films production company based in Baghdad. Starting her career as a writer, TV presenter, and TV documentaries director, she also built a freelance career as a director and producer for the past decade for formats by UNDP, Al Araby TV, BBC Arabic, or Breakthrough Media Productions, and others. Years later, she successfully started acting, winning several international awards for roles in productions like THE JOURNEY, BAGHDAD IN MY SHADOW, or BAGHDAD CENTRAL on Channel 4 and Hulu. She has written and directed I DREAM, an experimental short film. In 2018, Zahraa attended intensive courses at MET Film School in Berlin. She is one of the International Emerging Film Talents Association’s (IEFTA) Global Film Expression initiative winners in 2021.
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