A tender coming-of-age, where sadness and confusion are shared by an underaged girl and a much older boy.
Zagazig, a small town in the Nile delta. Souad is a nineteen-year-old student leading a double life. At home, in the streets and at school, she wears a hijab and plays her part in the suffocating, traditional life her environment and her parents expect her to lead. She does not have contact with boys, but the image she creates on social media is completely different. She is obsessed with her image, lives in a virtual illusion and has several secret, virtual relationships with men. In the bus, she shows an elderly woman a picture of her boyfriend, a medicine student. But this relationship is purely digital. She has never met him, however, they do talk on the phone every day, send each other provocative pictures, and break up and make up all the time. But a few small incidents lead to a tragedy, immersing the family home in profound grief. Thirteen-year-old Rabab sets out to find Ahmed, her sister Souad’s last virtual boyfriend. She wants to know the truth.
‘Souad’ conveys the schizophrenic life many Egyptian teens are forced to live in their conservative, Islamic community. A true clash between the unbridled, free-spirited social media and the stiff straitjacket of patriarchal society. But the film is so much more than this: in the second part, the director subtly shows the sweet, ambiguous game of connection between the underaged Rabab and the much older Ahmed. Because of its neorealist style and extraordinary acting performances, this film is a true revelation.
Wed 6 Jul 22
Egypt - Tunisia - Germany
Shrewd and poignant study of social media identities?