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Filmography for Veiling and the Media Project
photograph by Ron Kelley

Filmography for Veiling and the Media Project

Prepared by Joan Mandell

Benaat Chicago (Daughters of Chicago): Growing Up Arab and Female in Chicago

directed by Jennifer Bing-Canar and Mary Zerkel. Video, 30 minutes, 1996. Distributed by American Friends Service Committee/Chicago. Order from

Young women in a mostly Palestinian working class immigrant community reveal multiple layers of discrimination and pride as they discuss their experiences and attitudes toward Islam, sexism, dating, racism, and what it means to be Arab.

The Battle of Algiers

directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, produced by Igor Film-Casbah Films. Available on commercial video, 120 minutes, 1966.

Dramatic story of the Algerian war funtitled font set 4or independence, featuring a scene in which ordinarily unveiled women don the veil as a disguise to pass through French military checkpoints.

The Born Again Muslims

produced by Kanakna Documentary with Mundovision, Ltd. Video, 52 minutes. Distributed by Filmakers Library,

One in a series entitled "Beyond the Veil: The Conflict between the Muslim World and the West," this documentary examines differing views of veiling in Turkey, Sudan and Iran.

Covered: The Hejab in Cairo, Egypt

produced and directed by Tania Kamal-Eldin. Video, 25 minutes, 1995. Distributed by Midwest Media Artists Access Center,

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Why are Egyptian women increasingly wearing the veil? The women interviewed — including a fashion industry mogul, a religious teacher, a journalist and an anthropologist — offer a wide range of reasons.

Days of Democracy

directed by Ateyyat El-Abnoudy. Video, 60 minutes. Distributed by Arab Film Distribution,

Veteran Egyptian filmmaker Ateyyat El-Abnoudy crisscrossed the entire country in three weeks to document the successes and failures of women candidates in the 1995 election campaign for the Egyptian People’s Assembly.

A Door to the Sky (Bab al-Sama Maftouh)

directed by Farida Ben Lyzaid. Video and 35 mm, 107 minutes, 1989. Distributed by Arab Film Distribution,

A Moroccan emigrée returns to Fez to visit her dying father. At his funeral, a young woman chanting the Qur’an inspires her to join a collective of local women and help turn her father’s house into a women’s shelter.

Four Women of Egypt

directed by Tahani Rached. English subtitles, 16 mm, 35 mm, video, 90 minutes, 1997. Distributed by Women Make Movies,

Profile of four professional women and political activists whose friendship endures despite their widely divergent social, religious and political views (three of the women spent time in prison for their beliefs). One of the four is the muhaggiba intellectual Safinaz Qazim, who discusses her decision to wear the higab.

Morocco: The Rights of Women

25 minutes, 1997. Distributed by Filmakers Library,

Aicha Belarbi, a professor of sociology at the University of Rabat, who does not veil, talks about veiling, family, family law, gender roles and literacy.

Not Without My Veil: Amongst the Women of Oman

produced by Mia Grondahl for SVT. Video, 29 minutes. Distributed by Filmakers Library,

Educated, independent women who dress in the traditional way are breaking new ground in the fields of banking, medicine and aeronautics.

On Boys, Girls and the Veil (Subyan wa Banat)

directed by Yousry Nasrallah. English subtitles, video, 72 minutes, 1995. Distributed by August Light Films,

Examines gender roles and relationships in the daily life of a Cairo actor/schoolteacher, his family and colleagues. Explores their customs, hopes and desires as they dress, travel and work, play soccer, and dance at a wedding party.

The Other Half of Allah’s Heaven

directed by Djamila Sahraoui. 52 minutes. Distributed by Films Transit International, Montreal,

"Being a woman in Algeria means living between pain and hope…" The past and present struggles of Algerian women in their own words. Includes archival footage from the revolutionary days and the battles of the 1970’s over family code laws.

Tales from Arab Detroit

directed by Joan Mandell, produced by Sally Howell and Joan Mandell for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services. Video, 45 minutes, 1995. Distributed by New Day Films,

Three generations of Arab-Americans, both immigrants and their American-born children, reflect on changing social and cultural values. Storytellers include debkeh dancers, a hip-hop artist, a fiddle-playing bard and an Arab-American rapper, who explore their identities as they weave new traditions from the threads of the old.

click to view quicktime trailer 2.2 MB

The Veiled Hope

directed by Norma Marcos. English subtitles, video, 55 minutes, 1994. Distributed by Women Make Movies,

Palestinian women from diverse walks of life speak on gender issues in marriage and work, the history of the women’s movement and women’s roles in the national struggle. Highlights costume trends, collective memory and the symbolic representation of women.

A Veiled Revolution

directed by Marilyn Gaunt, produced by Elizabeth Fernea. Video, 26 minutes, 1982. Distributed by First Run/Icarus Films,

Egyptian feminists were the first to remove their veils in public in 1923. Now they are returning to the veil, and contemporary Egyptian women offer a variety of reasons for the trend.

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