We can all agree that after Ahmed Bassem Zaki’s case, the air is filled with feminism and fearless women ready to speak out. What happened is proof of what solidarity and social media can do. It’s hard to speak about empowering women while ignoring that the majority of our recent movies are literally full of offensive language and misogynist plot twists. However, today’s most feminist ideas can be found in our black-and-white movies, and here’s just a glimpse of them:
1. Ana Horra 1959
This is a movie that portrays a rebellious woman’s journey and her search for freedom. The movie’s heroine Amina (AKA Lobna Abdelaziz) decides to pursue her education and refuses to let her society’s authority control her.
Along with the movie, we can see Amina’s gradual character development towards her self-awareness. Naguib Mahfouz sure knew how to write about the 50s and 60s women’s ambitions and dreams.
2. Al-Bab Al-Maftooh 1963
We can guarantee that you can’t feel bored no matter how many times you watch this movie. In an about-to-gain-freedom boiling country, we follow Laila (AKA Faten Hamama) as she struggles to find her place in society.
This movie attacks most of the oppressive ideas that sadly managed to live until today. It has the longing-for-change woman, other women who ridicule the mere idea of their freedom, and the Eastern man in his two versions the contradictory one and the supporting. Also, let’s not forget Hussin’s poetic-but-powerful letter. I mean no one can ever get tired of that, right?
3. Al-Ostaza Fatma 1952
In a society that’s still taking baby steps towards women entering the work field, it takes guts to make a movie about a law graduate woman that opens her own office and insists on working despite no one believing that she could.
Fatma (AKA Faten Hamama) decides that being a lawyer is her call in life. Nevertheless, all that people could think of is “Nah this job isn’t for women”! But when her fiancé, who btw was also against the idea of her job. gets accused of murder, no one could help him but Fatma herself. This movie was like a straightforward call to tell women that they are wit, and that they have whole other options than just the ones they’re offered, and these options are for them to take.
4. Meraty Modeer A’am 1966
If you’re not sure the glass ceiling is an actual thing, you can always give this movie a watch. You think you’re all progressive and pro-women-working, but wait till your wife gets promoted to be your manager. Will you be the same?
Hussein is a man who believes in the importance of women working. Unfortunately for him, he wakes up one day to find that his wife Essmat is his new manager. So, as expected, he refused the idea of working under her. But thank god it surprisingly had a lovey-dovey ending.
Always facing the world with humor, books, and a good cup of coffee! Zahra is the girl who has a lot to say about everything and always needs to write something down.