LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM - MOVIE
Film written by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, directed by Shirin Neshat.
Starring: Neda Rahmanian, Yasmin Raeis, Mehdi Moinzadeh, Kais Nashif.
Length: 90 minutes.
A Razor Film production, in coproduction with Coop99, In Between Art Film, Vivo Film, Schortcut Films in association with Doha Film Institute, in collaboration with ORF, with the support of Noirmontartproduction, Austrian Film Institute, FISA - Film Industry Support Austria, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Vienna Film Fund, Regione Lazio.
Press release for the exhibition "Shirin Neshat - Looking for Oum Kulthum" at the Association Azzedine Alaïa, Sidi Bou Said
Looking for Oum Kulthum relates the story of Mitra, an Iranian film director living in exile, who embarks on her dream project of making a film about the legendary Egyptian singer and diva Oum Kulthum. Throughout her movie, Mitra explores the struggles, sacrifices and the price of Oum Kulthum's success as a female artist in a male dominated society.
However, having left her family behind for her career and in her efforts to capture the essence of Oum Kulthum as a myth, a woman and an artist, Mitra's own struggles blend with those of the singer and she finds herself caught in an emotional and artistic breakdown.
It is "a film within a film", where the boundaries of fiction and reality become increasingly blurred.
"A film within a film", where the boundaries between fiction and reality are increasingly blurred.
Commenting on the film, Neshat says: For the past twenty years, as a visual artist and a filmmaker, I have explored diverse concepts and narratives in relation to Muslim women. In 2009, I directed my first feature film Women Without Men, based on a magical realist novel written by the Iranian female author, Shahrnush Parsipur.
Continuing with my obsession with female strength and artistic expression in the Muslim world, since 2010, I have been developing this feature film project based on the art and life of the legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum (1900–1975), whose music and larger-than-life persona has and continues to be embedded in the hearts and imaginations of millions of Middle Easterners.
She lives and works in New-York.