This program features two very different films but each linked to intersections between sexual orientation/Islam/and Egyptian cultures (here in Canada and in Egypt itself). The short, Canadian film EITR directed by Fateema Al-Hamaydeh Miller (in attendance) will start us off and then the mood shifts from rom/com to psychological horror in the impressive horror feature The Judgment by Marwan Mokbel. While the feature is very much a horror movie, we do hope that audiences who usually veer from the genre, might give this one a chance because of its rare depiction of a modern Egypt and the generational divide when it comes to the topic of homosexuality. This also promises to not end the way you fear and in fact, may fill you with emotions you weren’t expecting and will most-likely welcome.
The Judgment dir. Marwan Mokbel/111:00/EGYPT/LEBANON/USA/2023
Mo and his boyfriend Hisham, a gay Egyptian couple, return from the U.S. to Egypt for a family emergency, but they need to pretend to be just friends in order to stay safe in Egypt’s very homophobic environment. Coming back to Egypt, however, leaves Mo especially anxious and uneasy, because someone knows his secret. They leave witchcraft at his door so that he feels threatened and ashamed. Although he pretends to be a modern American atheist, and therefore free from the superstitions of his religion and culture, Mo is terrified. Stepping back into the world of witchcraft has revived childhood terrors and deep religious fears, and he is afraid that his shame will be exposed to Hisham, who doesn’t know that Mo still views their relationship as sinful. Little by little, the judgment day he always feared, the god he always hated, the mother who stood against him, and the sins accumulating begin to quite literally haunt him through witchcraft, leading to the confrontation Mo always feared. Will he be strong enough to fight back and eventually be liberated?
Preceded by the short film:
EITR dir. Fateema Al-Hamaydeh Miller/14:40/Canada/2023 In Eitr, Mohamed’s fear of his true desires will be tested as he is caught off guard by the power of being seen, but can this connection break him out of his performative shell, even for a lingering moment?
Fateema Al-Hamaydeh Miller is a Queer mixed-race Palestinian-Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto. Her work explores themes of fragmented identity, isolation and connection through grounded “oh no, should I laugh?” comedy. Fateema’s background in improvisation and clown greatly influences all of her work as she strives to create with integrity, depth and a sense of humour. She is particularly passionate about bringing to life nuanced and humanizing representations of Arabs and Muslims for the screen and prioritizes building spaces for marginalized voices to thrive both in front of and behind the camera. Fateema’s short film EITR was one of 8 world-wide recipients of InsideOut’s RE:Focus Fund, she is a Women in the Director’s Chair alumni and is currently in development for her first feature film, coming-of-age dramedy, Waves/ ‘Amwaj.
Community Sponsor: The Queer Muslim Collective