Close Up

3 June 2016: Leila and the Wolves

Following Filmarmalade's programme of Miranda Pennell's films at Close-Up, we will screen one of Pennell's favourite films, Heiny Srour's Leila and the Wolves. Pennell will introduce the film and will be in conversation with Palestinian writer and commentator Nadia Hijab following the screening.

Lelia and the Wolves
Heiny Srour
1984 | 90 min | Colour | 16mm

Drawing on the Arab heritage of oral tradition and mosaic pattern, Leila and the Wolves is an exploration of the collective memory of Arab women and their hidden role in history throughout the past half century of the Middle-East, both in Palestine and in Lebanon. The film is a modern-day fairy tale about the suppressed history of Arab people and especially Arab women. Through the eyes of Leila, a Lebanese student dissatisfied with the official, colonial, male-dominated version of "history" the film reconstructs women's daily unglamorous and silent sacrifices as much a part of history as men's military "heroic" action.

"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." – Heiny Srour