Drawing on the Arab heritage of oral tradition and mosaic patterns, Leila and the Wolves is an exploration of the collective historical memory of Arab women. Shot over seven years, and in often treacherous conditions, Srour’s film is a masterpiece of filmmaking, mixing together archival footage, fairy-tale storytelling, aesthetically bold imagery, and dramatisations of situations faced by women in Lebanon and Palestine, from early twentieth century to the beginning of the 1980s. Through the eyes of Leila, a Lebanese student dissatisfied with the official, colonial, male-dominated version of the history of the region, the film reconstructs women’s daily, often unglamorous and silent sacrifices, as part of and in parallel with heroic military actions. The stories told here are fierce and sometimes shocking.
In January Courtisane Film Festival launched a fundraiser appeal to support the restoration of two of Heiny Srour’s films about the political struggles of women in the Arab world, to support this project or to read more, click here