In 2010 Saudi poetess Hissa Hilal made headlines around the world as the first woman to ever make it to the finals of "Million's Poet", an Abu-Dhabi based Million Dollar reality television show. It is the Arab world's biggest poetry competition, and it is dominated by men. In her poems Hissa criticizes the patriarchal Arab society and she attacks one of the most notorious Saudi clerics for his extremist fatwas, live, in front of 75 million viewers. Hissa Hilal is the voice from behind the veil: Her word is her weapon. We'll never see Hissa's face. Like the majority of Saudi women, Hissa is covered from head to toe. She is not allowed to drive a car. She doesn't own a passport. And she requires consent from her husband for any sort of activity. But then, coming out of nowhere, Hissa is suddenly breaking news in the biggest Western and Arab media. How did she gain the knowledge and the courage to step on stage and risk her life?
I thoroughly enjoyed this personal look into this lovely Saudi poetess who, with simple words, caused a huge uproar and showed extreme bravery in a culture where women should not be seen nor heard. In addition to the actual contest, this documentary reviews the short history of the area, a look into the religion through the eyes of a regular mother and a tiny glimpse into the lives of women in the country.
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