On Boys, Girls And The Veil / Sobbian We Benat

  • Release Date: 1995
  • Type: Documentary
  • Run time: 72 Minutes
  • Directed by: Yousry Nasrallah
  • Produced by: Gabriel Khoury
  • Screenplay: Tamer Ezzat
  • Cast: Bassem Samra and family, Khaled Youssef, Hesham Soliman, Nabila Sakr
  • Cinematography: Samir Bahzan, Mohamed El Agamy
  • Editing: Samir Bahzan
  • Music: Various Musical Inserts
  • Subtitles: English

This documentary on contemporary attitudes to wearing the hijab (the veil) among Egypt's youth seems deceptively simple at first: the film follows Bessem Saura, a 24-year-old teacher and would-be actor, as he chats to friends, family and colleagues about their lives. However these relaxed discussions constantly throw up fragments of historical, social, and political information which gradually fit together to present an image of a non-fundamentalist Islamic society which undermines and challenges many of the assumptions too easily vocalised in the West. Not only that, but the interaction between the members of the Saura family provides a wonderfully engrossing central narrative.