A Far-Reaching Film Fest

In January of this year, philanthropist Leslie Sacks, human rights lawyer Catinca Tabacaru and a team of extraordinary women came together to create Women's Voices Now, an organization based in New York whose aim is to “empower women and give voice to the struggle for civil, economic, and political rights.”This group of women has wasted no time in carrying out their mission. Already hosting what is being called the “first-ever international showcase of short films about Islam and women,” Women’ … [Read more...]

The Women’s Voices Now Film Festival

Women's Voices Now is a non-profit organization that was founded in January 2010 and is based in New York City. Their mission is to "empower women and give voice to the struggle for civil, economic and political rights."Currently, they're accepting submissions for a film festival, "Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival." Regular submissions close November 1, 2010, but some short films are already up at the website.Here's one of the films, named "Girl's Talk:"Check … [Read more...]

Assimilation Frustration: a Review of AmericanEast

A longer version of this article appears on altmuslimah, while this version appeared at Racialicious.I finally got around to watching AmericanEast this weekend. Full disclosure: I had originally read Tariq Nelson’s review, which was a pretty good rundown. AmericanEast is an attempt at mainstreaming American Muslims and attempts to portray the struggles Muslims face in the United States. In my opinion, they overdid it and never established a coherent plot. And on top of that, I found that the c … [Read more...]

Swimming Against the Current: A Look At Nia Dinata via Dispatches

CBC radio's weekly documentary program, Dispatches, recently ran a documentary by Natasha Fatah on Nia Dinata, one of Indonesia's best known film directors. In the documentary, entitled Cinema, censorship and sex, Fatah speaks with the internationally acclaimed director about her latest film, Chants of Lotus, as well as her experiences with film making in Indonesia.The documentary begins at the national premier of Chants of Lotus at a cinema in a high-end mall in Jakarta. The film itself is, … [Read more...]

Slumdog Millionaire: Muslimah As Princess

Spoiler alert: this post discusses important plot points.This past weekend I finally went to see Slumdog Millionaire. I have to admit that I loved the film and Jamal's rags-to -riches tale. The film has a fairytale bent that makes it likable (who doesn't like for the beat up hero to overcome and be happy in the end?) and at the same time problematic. However, the issue isn't with the main protagonist Jamal. In fact, he shows a strength, kindness and humanity that is almost superhuman. Plus, … [Read more...]

Unexpected sexualities: the sexual limits and transgressions of Muslim women in film

This was written by Cycads and originally published at her blog.Come into my parlour: A scene from Nadine Labaki's 'Caramel' (2007)The depiction of liberal Muslim women in film is a moment made of groundbreaking stuff. In a time where the veil is a symbol of subjugation, films about Muslim women like ‘Caramel' (2007) by Nadine Labaki*, with a narrative composed of universal themes like love and sex can stunningly shatter stereotypes. It is an anomaly amongst the more mainstream media i … [Read more...]

Unveiled: Hollywood’s Orientalist Fantasy

Guess what? Hollywood is making a film with a female Muslim protagonist! Yes, that's right. A female Muslim protagonist. The main character in the film is a Muslim woman. For the first time. And what is the name of the film, you may ask? Guess. Just take a quick guess. What's that? Did you say the word 'veil'? Very close! It's called Unveiled. Is that a surprise? Well, the fact that the film's main character is a Muslim woman may be, but the name, not so much, considering the main character is a … [Read more...]