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I Am Free (1958)

Ana hurra (original title)


Credited cast:
Lobna Abdel Aziz
Zouzou Nabil
Hussein Riad
Shukry Sarhan


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A young woman's search for personal freedom in early 1950s Egypt.
29 January 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This film is part of a trilogy by Salah Abu Seif about women's empowerment. It takes place in late 1940s / early 1950s urban Egypt, and tells the story of a young woman's search for personal freedom and a fulfilling identity as a young modern Egyptian. Although well acted and beautifully filmed, what is most notable about this film is its overt political agenda. "Ana Hurra" is disparaging of the traditional power dynamic between married men and women in Egyptian society, and sets up uneducated, housebound mothers as a figure of pity and even ridicule. Conversely, the protagonist, played by Lubna Abdel Aziz, finds fulfillment through Western education, Egyptian literature, and eventually, radical political activism. Although there is certainly a love story element to the film, it is by no means the central point. Abdel Aziz's character achieves success on her own terms, and she is in many ways far more empowered than female film protagonists of 1950s American cinema.

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