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© Brockhaus/Wolff

Hissa Hilal is the voice from behind the veil. Her weapon is her word. Hissa is a self-taught writer and she says what she thinks. She decides to take part in the "Million's Poet" show, an Abu-Dhabi based TV show. It is the Arab world's biggest poetry competition, and it is dominated by men. Hissa works herself up, becoming the first woman in the finals. In her poems she criticizes the patriarchal Arab society and she attacks one of the most notorious Saudi clerics for his extremist fatwas, live, in front of 75 million viewers. We’ll never see Hissa's face. Like the majority of Saudi women, Hissa is covered from head to toe. She is not allowed to drive a car. She doesn’t own a passport. And she requires consent from her husband for any sort of activity. Coming out of nowhere, the housewife Hissa is suddenly breaking news in the biggest Western and Arab media. How did she gain the knowledge and the courage to step on stage and risk her life? This is Hissa's story.
Genre Society, Women
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2017
Directors Stefanie Brockhaus, Andreas Wolff
Cinematography Tobias Tempel, Stefanie Brockhaus
Producer Andreas Wolff
Production Company Brockhaus/Wolff Films
Runtime 90 min
Format DCP, color, 1:1.78
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology 5.1
Festivals Locarno 2017 (Semaine de la Critique), IDFA 2017, Dubai 2017, One World Prague 2018, Sydney 2018, Seattle 2018
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Sanad Abu Dhabi

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