Thursday, June 26, 2008

Women and Islam

Kelab Seni Filem presents 3 short films about women and Islam.
Presented by Amir Muhammad

Monday 30 June, 8pm

‘Malaises’ / Uncomfortable

Eléonore Merlin & Anna Salzberg, France, 28 mins, 2007

Aisyah and Oubaïdah, are two Malay women who are seemingly very different from each other, except for their common identity as women as as Muslim. Aisyah is a young emancipated person who enjoys the hectic lifestyle of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. Oubaidah, has single handedly raised seven children. She is a delegate of PAS and lives in Kelantan (*then) the only state of Malaysia steered by this political formation.

Both women provide their insights on work, sexuality and their relationships with men. We see in their answers, contradictions that echo and reflect off each other, often raising the burning questions of the challenges, battles for identity and place in a Muslim society in the midst of transition.

An Afternoon with The Hijjabed

Malaysia, Nadia Hamzah and Wan Muhammad Tamlikha, 8 mins/2005

A mockumentary revolving around five different Malaysian women who differ vastly in character, but share one common trait: all of them don the 'tudung' Moslem veil. As they sit over tea one fine afternoon, they ponder on consequences of wearing the veil.
Initially classmates for a production class in Multimedia University, Cyberjaya Malaysia, Wan Muhammad Tamlikha and Nadiah Hamzah started collaborating on creative independent projects since 2004. From music videos they slowly progressed into making films. 'An Afternoon with The Hijjabed' is their second combined effort under on.par pictures, their unofficial filmmaking collective.

Directors' statement: The mockumentary basically exaggerates each of the characters' personalities, bringing them up to manic levels in order to convey certain messages across. It tries to be blatant and blunt about the truth concerning Hijjabed Moslem women, but at the end of it, the audience is left to make their own interpretations.

The Noble Struggle of Amina Wadud

Elli Safari, The Netherlands/USA, 29 mins, 2007

On March 18, 2005, Amina Wadud shocked the Islamic world by leading a mixed-gender Friday prayer congregation in New York. THE NOBLE STRUGGLE OF AMINA WADUD is a fascinating and powerful portrait of this African-American Muslim woman who soon found herself the subject of much debate and Muslim juristic discourse. In defying 1400 years of Islamic tradition, her action caused global awareness of the struggle for women’s rights within Islam but also brought violence and death threats against her.

Filmmaker Safari follows this women’s rights activist and scholar around the world as she quietly but with utter conviction explains her analysis of Islam in the classroom, at conferences, in her home, and in the hair dresser’s shop. Wadud explains how Islam, with its promise of justice, appeals to the African American community. And she links the struggle for racial justice with the need for gender equality in Islam. Deeply engaging, this film offers rare insights into the powerful connections between Islam, women’s rights, and racial justice.

Venue: HELP University College, Pusat Bandar Damansara, KL

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