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Wednesday Night Cinema Society

dark haired woman wearing green/pink/gold moroccan dress
Wed, Oct 20, 2021, 7:00 pm
Communications 150 (Studio C)

For this coming Wednesday (October 20th), we wanted to screen a short film made by one of our PhD students, Yasmine Benabdallah, which will be screening for the first time in person, followed by a feature film by Moroccan filmmaker Farida Benlyazid, touching on similar topics of identity and spirituality. You can find the brief synopses and an extra resource below.

Allah made me queer or Our success is in sharing space | Yasmine Benabdallah | US/Morocco 2021 | 9min | English with English Subtitles

A three-act short film about identifying as both Muslim and queer, about spirituality, identity, negotiating the intimate and the shared. Between religious chants and personal anecdotes, Wazina and Terna perform and take their private life to the public, bringing a conflicted identity met with resistance from their families, onto the stage.

woman wearing white headscarf standing behind a white fence

Bab al-sama mafthuh (Door to the Sky) | Farida Benlyazid | Morocco 1989 | 1h47min | Moroccan Darija and French with English Subtitles

Upon learning her father is dying, Nadia, a Moroccan émigré to France returns to Fes to say goodbye to him. At her father’s funeral, she hears a voice chanting the Qu’ran and develops a friendship with the woman singing it. As the friendship between the two women grows, Nadia is inspired to turn the house she has inherited from her father into a shelter for Muslim women. A beautifully told story that combines spirituality with social and economic concerns in Morocco, Door to the Sky interrogates the power of return and rediscovery.

Resource here for anyone interested after the screening (a conversation with Farida Benlyazid, Yasmine Benabdallah, curator Soukaina Aboulaoula, and Africa in Motion Film Festival curator Prof. Stefanie Van de Peer).