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    • Directed by: Sabine El Gemayel
    • Released: 2023 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2008
Running Time: 66 min
Language:  Arabic
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies

Niloofar is a twelve-year-old girl whose dream is to read and write, but she lives in a village where education is only for boys. Her mother, a well-known midwife, insists that Niloofar become her apprentice. While assisting her mother during a delivery, Niloofar meets a feminist woman who undertakes to teach her in secret. Unfortunately, in exchange of a palm tree field, Niloofar's father promises her in marriage to an older man once she becomes a woman. Horrified by this notion, Niloofar does everything in her power to postpone her first periods. Eventually, the inevitable occurs. HOwever, Niloofar, who is determined to keep her freedom as long as possible, arranges to conceal the fact from her family for another two years until the truth can no longer be hidden. Then, rather than live in a marriage without love, Niloofar runs away with her friend. Shocked, her family considers itself dishonored and sends her step-brother to track her down.

Official Selection and Winner of Best Feature Film at the 2009 Noor Iranian Film Festival 
About the filmmaker 

 Sabine El Gemayel was born in Tehran, Iran, to a Lebanese father and a French mother. Following the aftermath from the Persian Revolution and the Lebanese Civil War, her passion for filmmaking brought her to Los Angeles where she resides since 1994.  Sabine conveys her strong narrative skills and her deep understanding of human emotions into her writing-directing work giving a voice to extraordinary people in ordinary situations. She focuses on stories with socially engaged themes with a particular focus on the socio-political differences between countries from the Levant region,  Persians, Americans and French. 


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