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Her Man

Her Man: Feminine Artfulness

  • Medhat FawzyNaglaa Younes...
  • Drama
  • Out now
  • Ayten Amin
reviewed by
Mai Ayyad
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Her Man: Feminine Artfulness

Ayten Amin’s directorial debut is
based on Ahdaf Soueif’s short story, Her Man. The story revolves around Zeina, an illiterate
and co-dependent woman who stands helpless as her husband, Sobhy decides to
take a second and much younger wife.

With contempt, she has to live
with her rival under the same roof. Soon, she becomes overwhelmed by feelings
of jealousy and oppression. Finding a way out of her situation is very hard;
given her financial dependency on her husband: leaving him is certainly out of
the question.

Zeina may be lacking in resources, yet she has a great
deal of underestimated womanly guile. Planning to rid herself of the injustice
inflicted upon her, Zeina sleeps with her husband’s new wife, leaving a hickey
on her chest, and thus creates the illusion that his new wife has been
cheating on him.

Her Man remains true to the cultural
message in Ahdaf Soueif’s short story. The leading lady, Zeina is portrayed as
a threefold character, giving the audience space to contemplate her shocking
actions.

Amin translates perfectly the adequate
background for the story into a film. Within the context of the less privileged
Egyptians, marriage is the sole prospect for girls. In this
essence, Zeina’s act is her defence against someone that is threatening her all.  

Aside from the sex scene between
Sobhy’s two wives, the film focuses on sexuality as part of the social
background. Married off just as they hit puberty, girls are introduced to
sexuality as an integral part of marriage. The two wives spend their day
waiting for their husband and preparing a meal for him; pleasing him is their
main concern.

It is impressive to know that Her
Man
is Ayten Amin’s first project; all the artistic elements seem to fall
right in place. The music and the cinematography are very expressive of the
controversial conflict within the story. Amin’s script is very realistic and is complemented by natural
performances.

Her Man is recommended as a powerful
story of counteraction and victimisation. Women’s submission can be great, yet
their defiance can be a lot greater.

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Spring ’89, Nour, Male and Female.

360 Tip

Screened as part of Women’s Voices from the Muslim World: A Short-Film Festival. Watch on http://womensvoicesnow.org

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