by Ahd
(France/ Saudi Arabia 2012, 17 minutes)


Rules are strict for Muslim women in Saudi Arabia. If she loses her husband, she is not allowed to leave the house or to speak with another man for two months. A young widow, four months pregnant and without parents, is surprised when the brother of the deceased comes to her door and asks for a huge sum of money, the debts of the late husband. She has no money, she only has the house and she’s not allowed to take a job for two month. She goes out nevertheless, finds a wounded boy and takes him to her home to help her. He turns out to be the drug dealer of the neighborhood, but she kind of likes him and lets him stay. He buys the groceries for her and shares his benefits with her. Everything is fine until the brother of the deceased finds out about this: he wants his share of the benefits. Otherwise he’ll go to the police, he says. While the three are arguing, the boy vanishes but comes back to see that the woman’s water has broken. The film by Ahd (a female director who doesn’t give away her full name) tackles quite a lot of problems of women in a country where they are often held as prisoners. No one feels the urge to help the pregnant widow, only the boy. But he is also a man. He observes the widow when she’s half-naked in the apartment. The widow is upset, she feels vulnerable, but she also likes it because she knows she still is desired by someone. Ahd puts her reflective story in a thrilling short film.

By Andrea Dittgen


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