VIFF 2019: We Are Not Princesses

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 18:15

"Each of us has a moment of rebellion that we cannot express," says Syrian refugee Mona F. Filmed in Beirut, Bridgette Auger and Itab Azzam’s We Are Not Princesses follows a group of exiled Syrian women who are emboldened to share their own tales of oppression and profound tragedy as they rehearse for a one-of-a-kind staging of Antigone, the ancient Greek play about the rebel princess who buries her treasonous brother, defying the King’s laws.

This heartfelt documentary is bolstered by poignant animated sequences that incorporate the voices of women whose families forbade them from appearing on-screen. Mona discusses her intense resolve to transport her sick child to the hospital through falling bombs. Zayna recalls her husband confining her to the house for losing her headscarf. Fedwa breaks down while describing a photo of her murdered son, whose body she could not retrieve. Israa’s rap song about escaping a siege in high heels is enthralling. Whether they’re rehearsing lines or gossiping over coffee, the subjects’ tenderness, wit, and wisdom shine through. This is a powerful and complex work that also manages to be deeply satisfying. is pleased to be a community partner of this film's screening.  It will also be screening on October 4th. More information here.

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