This entry is embarrassingly overdue. Not only did this film come out in the beginning of 2006, but I saw it in 2006! That said, I'm still thinking about it, and still thinking that others should see it.
THESE GIRLS, a documentary by Tahani Rached, is one of the most emotional and beautiful documentaries I've seen in a very long time. It follows the lives of a group of Cairene street girls as they deal with the tragically standard list of daily obstacles one might expect from street life; poverty, drugs, rape, abuse, pregnancy. But, surprisingly, you don't have to be a masochist to enjoy this film. What makes it so remarkable, in fact, is not the tragedy of it all, but that the girls are so damn sassy, moody, hilarious and tough.
THESE GIRLS was shown at Cannes, Toronto and The NY Film Fest in 2006 and has received loads of great reviews. I'd been waiting to see this doc for quite some time as I've been a huge fan of the Lebanese-Canadian director since seeing her insightful documentary, FOUR WOMEN OF EGYPT in 1997. I finally got around to seeing it while in Dubai. What I find so extraordinary about Rached is that she, better than any other director I can think of, knows how to capture the simultaneous lightheartedness and boldness of so many Egyptian women. Anyone with preexisting notion of "the passive Arab woman" will find their opinions in check after seeing either of these movies. Both THESE GIRLS and FOUR WOMEN OF EGYPT are distributed by Women Make Movies.
Buy THESE GIRLS here
And FOUR WOMEN OF EGYPT here