PODCAST| Nicolò Comotti interviews Mohammed Siam, director of the film Amal.
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Mohammed Siam joins us in Thessaloniki to discuss his latest feature Amal. Documenting six years in the life of a young girl in the midst of the Arab revolution, Amal is an accurate study about the disillusion that followed suit. A whole generation gave up on change, and is still coping with the uncertainty of a country with no clear future ahead. Primordial anger, fear and a single grain of hope are the only tangible feelings they have left. We, as an audience, experience this through the piercing eyes of Amal.
Amal: Amal is 14 years old when she ends up on Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution, after the death of her boyfriend in the Port Said Stadium riot. During the protests, she is beaten by police and dragged across the square by her hair. This coming-of-age film follows her over the years after the revolution. As the film cuts between the unfolding current events and Amal’s rapidly changing life and appearance, we see her searching for her own identity in a country in transition. Amal is fiery and fearless, sinking her teeth into the protests and constantly lecturing her mother, who works as a judge. A girl among men, she also has to fight for respect and the right to take part, both in the street and in the rest of her life. In Egypt, even for a young woman like Amal—her name means “hope”—the choices open to her for her future are limited.