United States, Denmark, Germany, Syria | 2023 | Arabic dialogue with English subtitles l 88 min


Everyday life in Syria is not only marked by years of war but also by internalised misogyny and violence against women both within the family and in the workplace. It is not discussed, and harassment seems to be a commonplace expression of authority. Many women are pathologised and admitted to psychiatric wards, and even extreme abuse is rarely reported. In Damascus, a collective of young female actors comes together to research the topic. They plan to use the moving anonymous statements of countless women to create a stage play that will break taboos.
But Eliana, Inana, Farah, Grace and Souhir face resistance – from their families and even during discussions within the group itself. When their feminist project suddenly encounters unexpected hurdles, their enthusiasm is put to its toughest test yet.
Syrian duo Talal Derki and Heba Khaled directed their film from the distance of their Berlin exile and together with Ali Wajeeh. In the film’s voice-over commentary, Heba Khaled puts the images and the oppression of Syrian women into context and draws comparisons with her own story as well as that of the actor Sabah Al Salem.

Swedish premiere

Screening: April 24th 21:00 Panora 2

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Director: Heba Khaled, Talal Derki, Ali Wajeeh
Writer: Heba Khaled
Dop: Raed Sandeed
Producer: Sigrid Dyekjær, Talal Derki, Heba Khaled, Beth Earl


Was born in Damascus and studied Arabic Literature at Damascus University. She worked as freelance fixer for CNN, and Reuters in Damascus and Beirut between 2011 and 2013 and worked as a writer and executive producer on these and other Arab media channels.
In 2014, she started in her first short-film People of the Wasteland. The same year, she moved to Berlin where she assisted the filmmaker Talal Derki in the direction of his film Of Fathers and Sons, which won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2018 and was Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 2020.


Was born in Damascus (1977) and has been based in Berlin since 2013. He studied film directing in Athens.
Talal Derkis short films and feature length documentaries received many awards at various festivals. Both of his films Return to Homs and Of Fathers and Sons won the Grand Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival 2014 and 2018.
He was Oscar nominated for a Academy Award and winner of the German Film Awards (Lola) in 2019 for Of Fathers and Sons. He became member of the Academy same year.


Was born in Lattakia (1985) has been working as film critic for Arab newspapers and websites for many years. Wrote several Arab TV series, award-winning short movies, and plays.
With his extensive knowledge of Syrian and Arab film production, he has also been drama consultant for production companies and platforms.