Hard-hitting film on sexual harassment

DUBAI - The cast of hard-hitting Egyptian drama Six, Seven, Eight have called upon the international filmmaking community to help tackle the problem of sexual harrassment.

By Adam Zacharias

Published: Wed 15 Dec 2010, 12:44 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:55 PM

The directorial debut by screenwriter Mohamed Diab, the film received its world premiere last night as part of the Dubai International Film Festival’s Arab Programme segment.

It follows three women from across Cairo’s social hierarchy: Nelly, an aspiring stand-up comic whose reputation is jeopardised after she files a sexual harrassment lawsuit, Fayza, a traditional-minded mother in search of justice and Seba, a wealthy jewellery designer recovering from an assault.

“We’re discussing this subject from an Egyptian perspective because this is how we’ve seen and experienced it,” said Bushra, who plays Fayza. “There are no boundaries — a woman of any age or social strata can be prone to this danger.” When asked about the perceived necessity for Egyptian women to carry weapons in public, actress Nelly Karim joked, “If people don’t listen by courtesy, we’ll do it by force.” She quickly added that the film, and the women’s empowered responses within it, dealt purely in symbolism.

“Each of us has our own reaction,” said the 35-year-old, speaking at a press conference in the Madinat Jumeirah. “There is no message from this film advocating violence at all.” Her fellow cast member, actor Maged El Kidwaany added, “This film may be Egyptian, but it addresses universal problems. It’s an issue of personal privacy, and I hope we have more films of this kind.”

Director Diab described Six, Seven, Eight as a risky venture given its controversial subject matter, but insisted he was proud as a man to have made such a statement.

“I strongly believe in the necessity to convey this issue,” he said.


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