Magazine article Screen International

Dubai Q&A: Iman Kamel Talks 'Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc'

Magazine article Screen International

Dubai Q&A: Iman Kamel Talks 'Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc'

Article excerpt

The iconic French figure of Joan of Arc has inspired myriad artists as well as revolutionaries and politicians of all persuasions, ever since she was burned at the stake in 1431.

In Egyptian film-maker Iman Kamel's creative documentary Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc, exploring the unfolding legacy of Egypt's revolution from a female perspective, her fate is tied with that of the women who took part in the uprising.

The film premiered at this year's Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in the Muhr Feature Competition.

"Jeanne d'Arc has been an empowering figure for me all my life so there is a personal, emotional aspect about it but here I also reference Dryer's Jeanne d'Arc," explains Kamel referring to Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 silent classic The Passion Of Joan Of Arc.

"Dryer's film focused on her time in the prison, where she was questioning herself and her vision and was attacked by patriarchs. These are the aspects of Jeanne d'Arc that I used in the movie."

Her hybrid work revolves around the experiences of seven women, many of them connected to Cairo's vibrant arts scenes, since the beginning of the popular uprising in 2011. They range from artist and jewellery maker Nahla Sebaei, to award-winning cartoon animator Salma El Tarzi and musician Dina El Wedidi, who will perform at the second screening of the film at DIFF's open-air sidebar, The Beach, on December 11.

"I wanted to look inside the revolution, to examine what is this rebellious process that brings them back onto the streets year on year. …

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