Nour is a short film by Noha Roshdy that narrates a woman’s physical and psychological crisis when confronted with her HIV-positive status.

The film takes the form of a real interview with Eman, an HIV-positive woman. It follows her journey starting from the day that she discovered that she was ill, and develops as she tries to adapt herself to her stigma.

The opening scene signifies a barely lit room. Only visible is the painting of a woman, who may be isolated, but looks out on the world with a faint smile. Hidden in the dark, Eman speaks as the mouthpiece of all people living with HIV.

Eman is captivating as she talks about her shocking revelation and the first thoughts that came to her mind when she found out about being HIV-positive. Numb with fear of being rejected by society, she contemplates suicide, an idea that many people with HIV surrender to when they are ostracised from their societies.

While attempting to live with the disease, her spirit fluctuates between courage, anger and loneliness as well as despair. Put in a constant confrontation with death, Eman’s daily life will leave viewers feeling immense sorrow for her hopelessness.

Emotional exile reigns. Eman is cut off from her people, as she searches for the meaning of life in the shadow of impending death. She is on the side of despair, seeing life from a distance. For HIV patients, the self has no refuge, and life is a disorderly confrontation with a dismissive society.

Within Eman, there is a consuming hunger for love, affection and motherhood. Alas, life does not take its natural course for someone who bears alone the horrors of such a disease.

Nour is a film about HIV, but it is not about representations of sexuality. It puts aside all the clichéd images of a person living with HIV, and focuses instead on the artistic demonstration of the inner struggles.

However, the quality of the cinematography could have been better. In the era of 3D pictures, viewers may not tolerate the film’s blurry images.

Nonetheless, it is not every day that you come across Egyptian films that deal with HIV; so check this one out.