Asmaa

Brilliant and powerful Egyptian movie directed by Amr Salama, tackles the taboo subject of AIDS in a conservative Islamic country. It is based on true events. Asmaa (Hend Sabry) is living with a secret that she is HIV positive. Doctors refuse to operate upon her, on knowing of her condition. She has a college going daughter Habiba (Fatma Adel) and her dad and she works as a janitor in the airport. The movie goes back and forth in flashback mode, showing her young life, when she falls in love with a solder, continues with doing her carpet business even after marriage, her husband enters into a fracas with some local goons and is sent to jail for murder. In the jail he contracts AIDS comes back a tortured man. Egypt is shown as a patriarchial society, when son is important for the lineage to continue and family traditions et al. Hend Sabry has done a powerful role as is Fatma Adel. Asmaa is invited to a TV talk show to talk about her condition, but the talk show host wants her to reveal her face, which is again taboo in the Islamic society. Beautifully directed movie by Amr Salama in tackling such a delicate subject with such finesse. The end scene when Asmaa comes on the TV show is touching.

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