Nada’s Revolution is an intimate portrait of a young Egyptian woman fighting for her freedom and independency in a society caught between old traditions and modernization. Amidst a political turmoil that paralyzes the country for almost three years we follow Nada’s struggle to establish herself as a professional theater maker. At the same time her personal story haunts her.
Until the age of 23 Nada led the life her family had chosen for her: she studied to become a primary school teacher and waited to get married. But at that point she decided she did not want to live the life her mother and her grandmother had led. She leaves her family home for Cairo and starts to build up a life of her own. She goes from part time job to part time job, struggles with male bosses trying to take advantage of her and lives in collectives, moving from flat to flat whenever troubles arise. As a young woman without the protection of a male family member, troubles of all sorts are routine.
When the revolution breaks out in 2011 Nada – as many of her peers – are suddenly full of energy and hope – ‘the impossible doesn’t exist anymore’. She sets out to make her old dream come true: to work with children’s theatre. She writes a play about the revolution and starts to look for collaborations. With the country immersed in the political turbulence that follows the revolution and doesn’t stop with the election of President Morsi in 2012 what seemed possible in the beginning turns out to be much more difficult than Nada imagined. Theaters shut down for lack of audience, the censorship returns to the political agenda, work is even more difficult to find and the housing situation does not improve.
Amidst the chaos Nada finds love and believes the man of her dreams is going to accept her independency – she wants to marry, have kids and keep working to establish herself as a theater maker. But the conservative ideas around gender roles and women’s freedom are hard to knock even for the younger generations. From the government ‘s side women’s rights suffer a backlash in the new constitution approved six months after Morsi takes power. And on the streets women are systematically harassed and raped during protests. The situation feels hopeless. Nada is confronted with the question of how she can be true to her own dreams and at the same time stay loyal to her family’s and her boyfriend’s conservative principles. It is an impossible equation, especially in a society where the leap to adulthood for women is still made under the auspices of the family. But Nada’s only possible answer is to keep fighting and working to make freedom come true.
Length: 60 min.
Director: Claudia Lisboa
Producer: Frank van den Engel
Executive producer: Julia van Schieveen, Pim Imenkamp
Production company: Zeppers Film & TV BV (NL)
Co-Producer: Andreas Rocksén, Erik Sandberg – Laika Film & Television AB Commissioning editor IKON: Margje de Koning, Barbara Wiessing Commissioning editor SVT: Axel Arnö