In 2010 the British Council in Yemen ran a national film making competition called Zoooom.
The aim was to find Yemeni amateur filmmakers with talent, determination, original vision and a passion for film making as a way of life.
You can watch all five films, accompanied by a short introduction from the director. In this blog, Abeer Sallam presents The Story Continues.
The story discusses one of Yemen’s social realities – early marriage.
The concept, case and environment are always the same, regardless of the family’s financial situation; hence, the story was divided into two different cases and circumstances to encompass the whole theme.
In the first case Amal is a member of the poor, simple family of greedy father who wants money by any means. Her mother is uneducated and her only concern is to see her daughter as a bride, regardless of her daughter’s age. Amal has many friends and she is outgoing and friendly. Her life is full of joy until the moment she becomes a housewife.
Hamid, the groom, visits Amal’s father accompanied by a jurist and two witnesses. The dowry that Hamid pays is very satisfactory. Amal’s father pushes his daughter to a new and challenging life, killing her childhood for a handful of money.
Amal’s sorrow and anguish start very fast; she can’t forget her friends and that she is still a child. At the same time, she is a complete wife who has a burden to carry – taking care of the house along with her husband’s demands.
In the end, Amal decides to escape from her unendurable life. The only solution she can think of is to vanish.
The theme of the second case is that within Yemeni society many believe that a stepmother does not like her stepchildren.
Noora, the second victim, belongs to a well-situated family with a stepmother.
During her home study, an unwelcome visitor drops in Noora’s house. She feels cold and goes to her cupboard to look for her jacket, but is astonished because she doesn’t find her clothes. Her stepmother shouts at her to hurry up to the living room, where we find Hamid standing by the door with her bag, ready to go.
By meeting people who have the same sorrow and pain portrayed in the film, I was inspired to convey these victims’ anguish to society. I wanted to tell all parents to stop shedding their daughters’ lives.
This film gave me a sense of bravery and creativity as a director, also pushing me to make a number of movies.
I will not go far in my dreams or touch the sky with expectations that can’t be fulfilled, but I am trying to be more reasonable and enthusiastic at the same time.
In the end, I wish Yemen can get rid of early marriages.
This film was produced free of editorial or creative influence – it is entirely the work of the film maker. The views expressed in this film are solely those of the film maker and do not represent the opinions of any company or organization.