08 19 Oct '24
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Heiny Srour

Leila wal Zi'ab (Leila and the Wolves)

90' - 1984 - Dialogue: Arabic
Director: Heiny Srour
A film which questions the gospels of the gun; its images flowing in search of woman’s political and historical identity in the Middle East.

A film which questions the gospels of the gun; its images flowing in search of woman’s political and historical identity in the Middle East … Throughout the film, an Arab woman wanders through real and imaginary landscapes of Lebanon and Palestine encountering voices from the peripheries of middle-Eastern politics: uncovering submerged yearnings and testaments of Arab women’s resilience. In her wanderings, she returns over and over again to Lebanon, the “jewel in the crown” of French colonial twilight states, a country in which crimes of honour took the lives of two women a week during the 70s. Yet Leila is not an anthropological journey but a survey of mythic and symbolical protest. Through her “eye” comes a search for political character in a Lebanon now permanently stained by the massacre of Sabra and Chatilla; caught in the throes of bitter civil war, Israel’s ‘backyard’. Leila prods these moments of loss and discovers ghosts of a very different life before the wolves. (John Akomfrah)

Digital Restoration by CNC.

Selected for Venice Classics 2021.

"The visual leitmotiv of the film is Arab women sitting immobile under the high sun, while half-naked men bathe joyfully on the beach. Gradually, women will start getting impatient, as historic events go by, and they will move towards the water for a dip … but in the Middle-East, the dance of death still continues.”

Image gallery

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Credits

Director

Heiny Srour

More information

Dialogue

Arabic

Countries of production

Lebanon, United Kingdom

Year

1984

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