Souad, a 19-year-old young Egyptian woman, leads a double life. While remaining conservative and veiled among her family and society, she is obsessed with her image on social media. Razor-sharp and non-judgemental.
In a small city on the Nile Delta, 19-year-old Souad (Bassant Ahmed) leads a double life. Conservative and veiled in public, online she obsesses over her appearance and embarks on secret virtual romances. As the reality of her personal situation comes increasingly into conflict with her digital life, she struggles to rectify her ambitions with her future until tragedy strikes.
A film that gently casts a sharp eye on the challenges faced by women in a strongly patriarchal society. Indeed, tradition and modernity collide in uneasy ways here, Souad and her friends discuss boys, sex and more just like any other women their age, though they have to be more discreet lest their elders take punitive action.
Featuring astonishing performances from a cast of non-professionals, the film - co-produced by Wim Wenders - acutely examines the contradictions of teenage life in contemporary Egypt and the challenges of combining traditional values with social media. ‘Souad’ is a moving testament to human compassion and resilience. A favourite at the Festival de Cannes 2020 and Berlinale 2021. (With with hard of hearing subtitles).
Our thanks to the BFI for this film.