The issue of violence against women is one of the most important issues that have been discussed in Egyptian cinema for a long time. The Egyptian filmmakers were keen to present works that embody the different types of harm that women go through, whether psychological, physical, verbal or sexual violence. As well as economic and social oppression and other types of harm inflicted on women.
Like it or not, there are many societies that still deal with women as vulnerable and marginalized beings in society, who must be subjugated and controlled. This prompted the United Nations General Assembly to choose November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It seeks to do justice to women, expose the shortcomings of society, raise awareness of the forms and methods of violence that women are subjected to worldwide, and explain the negative effects on women who undergo such experiences. On this occasion, we present to you the most famous films of Egyptian cinema that dealt with the issue of violence against women.
The film touched on different types of violence against women, including physical violence such as beatings and abortions, and verbal violence such as insults and reprimands. As well as imposing male control over women from their male relatives. By presenting the suffering of a group of teenage girls with their families. The events review the impact of this violence on girls, and how each of them confronts the injustice perpetrated against her. The first girl, “Nada”, suffers from her cruel mother who imposed strict restrictions on her daughter, and allows her son to control his sister and exercise his male authority over her, in an inappropriate manner that amounts to beating and insulting. The second girl, “Safiya”, is subjected to various types of verbal and physical violence by her stepfather, who forces her to have an abortion after she became pregnant with his son out of wedlock, causing her death.
The film stars Magda and Rushdi Abaza. It is written by Ali Al-Zarqani, and directed by Ahmed Diaa El-Din.
The Open Door
The film exposed a different type of violence against women, which is psychological violence, which can sometimes be more effective than physical violence. With him, the woman feels a loss of confidence in herself, and her inability to go through life alone. This appeared within the events of the film through the character “Laila”, who wanted to revolt against her reality, whether by participating in the Egyptian revolution against the British occupation, or by revolting against the beliefs of her family, which insists that women submit to the tyranny of their male guardian, whether it is their father, brother or husband. Considering that the man is more aware of her personal interests, and more able to make decisions and judge matters. Over time, Leila responds to her family’s thoughts, forgetting her dream of gaining her freedom and being able to make her own decisions. Especially after going through a failed love story that makes her lose confidence in herself. Until she meets “Hussein”, who supports her and helps her to gather her courage and stand up to her family in order to achieve her dream of political struggle, so that she regains her self-confidence.
The film stars Faten Hamama, Hassan Youssef, Shwikar, Mahmoud Morsi and Saleh Selim. It is written by Latifa Al-Zayat and Youssef Issa, and directed by Henry Barakat.
The Second Wife
The film discussed the issue of forced marriage, forcing a woman to marry someone she does not want. Through the story of a wife named “Fatima” whom the village mayor wants to marry in order to have a son who will bear his name and inherit from her. The mayor forces her husband, “Abu Ela”, to divorce her. With all might, he forcibly marries her before she completes her waiting period. So, “Fatima” decided to rebel against the tyranny of the mayor, and prevented him from approaching her, because forced marriage and divorce are not permissible according to Sharia. The film also dealt with the suffering of women in rural societies from the problem of not having children, which becomes a justification for polygamy, in view of the silence of the first wife, and her inability to object to the second marriage.
The film stars Soad Hosni, Shukri Sarhan, Sanaa Jamil, Salah Mansour and Abdel Moneim Ibrahim. It is written by Ahmed Rushdi Saleh and Muhammad Mustafa Sami, and directed by Salah Abu Seif. It occupies the 16th place in the list of the 100 best films in the memory of Egyptian cinema.
Doing it out of fear
The film reviewed the violence that women are subjected to, represented in forcing them to marry, through the character of “Fouada”, whom “Atris” insists on marrying against her will. In order to achieve this, her family falsely claimed that she had consented to the marriage, and they told the muezzin that she had authorized her father to marry her. When Fouadah told him that their marriage was invalid, he took revenge on her father, the authorized representative, and the witnesses. The people of the village stood in solidarity with “Fouada” and revolted against the idea of oppression and oppression of women, and decided to save her. Then they set fire to Atris’ house to get rid of him.
The film stars Shadia, Mahmoud Moussa, and Yehia Shaheen. It is written by Waheed Hamid and directed by Hussein Kamal. It occupies the 19th place in the list of the 100 best films in the memory of Egyptian cinema.
I want a solution
The film discussed the tragedy of a woman named “Doria” who suffered the most from her husband’s abuse throughout their 20-year marriage. After disputes with her diplomatic husband, Medhat Seif al-Nasr, intensified due to his bad treatment of her and his multiple women’s relations, and his control over them by refusing to divorce her, Doria resorted to the court to file a divorce case, only to get lost in the long court road full of problems and obstacles that squandered her dignity. She fails to get a divorce after 4 years in court.
The film stars Faten Hamama, Rushdi Abaza, and Amina Rizk. It is written by Hosn Shah, and directed by Saeed Marzouk. It occupies the 19th place in the list of the 100 best films in the memory of Egyptian cinema. After the film was made, it contributed to reconsidering the personal status laws related to divorce and the house of obedience and allowing the Egyptian wife the right to divorce.
The wife of an important man
The film dealt with the violence and humiliation of the young wife “Mona” from her bossy policeman husband, “Hisham Abu Al-Wafa”. Where she discovers after marriage that he is mentally ill because of his mistreatment of her. Where he deliberately insults her constantly and imposes his authority on her. Then her life with him turns into hell after he was referred to the pension, when he beats her, and when she asked for her father’s help to get rid of him, “Hisham” shot his father-in-law, then shot himself.
The film stars Ahmed Zaki and Mervat Amin. It is written by Raouf Tawfiq and directed by Muhammad Khan. It occupies the 30th place in the list of the 100 best films in the memory of Egyptian cinema.
The film presented the story of Amina, a university student who loves her neighbor, Ibrahim Shaheen, a young lawyer. Due to his faltering financial circumstances, she marries him by common law. With time, her mother agrees to her engagement to Salah, and when Amina refuses, she receives a severe beating from her cruel mother. After Ibrahim learned of her engagement to another person, he decided to use violence to maintain his love for her, even if it came to hurting her. So he brought a case against her and asked her in the house of obedience, using an answer she had written to him acknowledging their customary marriage. When the obedience ultimatum reached Amina’s house, she was subjected to all forms of physical violence at the hands of her family members. She was also subjected to an attempted rape by her fiancé, “Salah”.
The film stars Laila Elwi, Mahmoud Hamida and Hassan Mowafi. It is written by Khaled Al-Banna, and directed by Atef Al-Tayeb.
The film exposed one of the worst types of physical violence against women, female circumcision, through the story of “Yasmine,” a teenage girl who had an incomplete sexual relationship with her neighbor “Shadi,” which led to her pregnancy while she was still a virgin. After nine months in which the girl hid her pregnancy, she gave birth to her daughter at her aunt’s house, who rushed her to the hospital in a state of astonishment and disbelief from the whole family and a feeling of embarrassment and fear of scandal on the part of her parents. He also violated the ethics and rules of the medical profession to implement his extremist personal beliefs and tendencies, when he performed a circumcision on her, without consulting her family or obtaining their consent, with a desire to punish her for her deed, and thinking that circumcision would make her control her instincts, despite considering What he did is against the law.
The film stars Maya Shiha, Sherif Ramzy, Ezzat Abu Auf, Dalal Abdel Aziz, and Sawsan Badr. It is written by Azza Shalaby, and directed by Magdy Ahmed Ali.
The film dealt with a type of physical violence against women represented in sexual harassment, through the stories of three women from different environments, who fall victim to harassment. The film reviews the impact of that transgression on the feelings of each of them, the impact it has had on their lives, and how they deal with the harasser and society. The first lady, “Saba”, formed an association to teach women to defend themselves against harassment, after her husband abandoned her and lost her fetus. The second, “Nelly”, insists on making a report for the harasser, despite the rejection of her family and the family of her fiancé for fear of society’s view of her. The third is, “Fayza”, is in a bad psychological state that makes her refuse to approach her husband, and decides to take revenge and defend herself by stabbing a harasser in a sensitive area.
The film stars Nelly Karim, Bushra, Nahid El Sebaei, Majed El Kadwany, and Basem Samra. It is written and directed by Mohamed Diab. The film, after its screening, contributed to activating the harassment law, and made the punishment for the harasser up to 3 years in prison.