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Arts and culture

New short film ‘Amal’ highlights critical issue of domestic violence in Lebanon

BEIRUT | - September 11, 2014, 08h51
Amal, an upcoming short film by Lebanese filmmaker Yasmine Ghorayeb, a contestant in the Zoomal ‘Must See Film Challenge’ competition, is tackling the prevalent issues of domestic violence and marital rape in Lebanon.
Lebanese filmmaker Yasmine Ghorayeb, is currently working on Amal a short film that tackles seriously the issue of domestic violence in Lebanon, a country lacking legislation to protect against gender-based violence.

Yasmine Ghorayeb's previous film, the award winning short movie Saudade, premiered at Cannes and was selected for 20 film festivals worldwide, receiving a total of 7 international Awards.

Ghorayeb developed the script for Amal at the Cinephilia Productions Screenwriting workshop where it received the Best Screenplay Award by a selection committee in New York in 2013. She worked with Kafa, the Lebanese NGO working to fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women, and based the plot on real testimonials from abused women. The film, which has been praised for its originality and boldness, portrays a day in the life of a young woman looking to escape from her abusive husband.

The filmmaker aims to raise awareness and in particular to highlight the vicious cycle of silence and victimisation for many abused women and to empower women. According to Ghorayeb the film “is made as a tribute to all these women, young or old, battered or raped, physically beaten up or psychologically humiliated and - hopefully, will contribute to making a change.”

Lebanon still has a long way to go in regards to legislation protecting against gender-based violence. A new domestic violence law came in to place in May 2014 but it has been criticised by Kafa and other groups for not going far enough. The original draft for this law was put forward by Kafa in 2009 but since then crucial amendments have been made including the removal of a clause criminalising marital rape.

Ghorayeb’s project is still in its early stages. In order to produce and edit her film she is in need of $16,000. She has entered her film as a contestant in the ‘Must See Film Challenge’ on Zoomal the crowd-funding website for the Middle East. The challenge aims to benefit young Arab filmmakers by offering exposure and matched funding for their projects. If you would like to help spread awareness about domestic violence in Lebanon you can donate on the website.
#Cinéma, #Lebanese_cinema, #Lebanese_movie, #Marital_rape, #gender_violence
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