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As I Want
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As I Want
IDFA 2021

As I Want

Samaher Alqadi
Egypt, Norway, France, Palestine, Germany
2021
88 min
Dutch Premiere
Festival history

In January 2013, two years after the popular revolt on Tahrir Square, an explosion of sexual violence sparked rage and protests. It looked like the beginning of a new Egyptian revolution, this time for women’s rights. But eight years later, the battle is far from over.

As well as filming the protests themselves, Samaher Alqadi captures scenes from daily life on the streets, where people respond to her not wearing a headscarf with a shocking barrage of sexist comments and ultraconservative views. In addition, her pregnancy prompts her to reflect on her youth and what it means to be a woman in the Middle East.

Alqadi also appears in front of the camera, filmed in black-and-white, appearing by turns vulnerable, emotional, outraged, or combative. In voiceover, she addresses her deceased mother. Archive footage of the 2013 protests is interspersed with domestic scenes and interviews at the home of the filmmaker herself or of girlfriends, sisters, and other family members. Photos from her youth and family films illustrate and painfully spotlight the ever-growing limitations placed on the freedom of Egyptian women.

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