AMAL is opening this years Festival.

THURSDAY 29.11.2018 8pm



- PRODUCER Christian Eid
- DJ Duo Love is Strange
- DRINKS @ Philiale im Gartenbaukinofoyer
- FOOD by

Opening Words by Dr. Manfred Nowak, Professor for International Human Rights at the University of Vienna.


Tickets for AMAL

Österreich Premiere
Mohamed Siam
Dokumentarfilm, EG│LB│DE│FR│NO│DK│QA, 2017
83 min, OmeU

Disguised as a boy, 15-year-old Amal took part in the protests that were held on Tahrir Square in Cairo in early 2011. The following six years of Amalís life are documented by Mohammed Siamís debut film, during which the growing adolescent seeks to find her place in a post-revolutionary Egypt still strongly defined by patriarchal power structures. (CJ)


In the opening scene of the film, Amal wears a Superman t-shirt. Do you see her as a superwoman?

I see her as a superwoman given the circumstances she lives in. To me, her super power is not being a fighter, even though she is. Itís her super capacity to adapt. Sheís a great survivor. Like all those little children in the darkest fairy tales who have to go through terrible obstacles but still they keep going, whatever happens.

How did you meet her and what intrigued you so much that you decided to make her the protagonist of a movie?

I was looking for a male character subject from the football fans, ultras, whose members are 99,99% male teenagers who are full of uncontrollable energy and rage. I wanted to foresee what would be the future face of Egypt through them. One night, among all of these men, I see this very little person with a very strong voice, wearing a hoody. She looked really neutral, not really a girl, not really a boy. She was leading a group of men, much taller than her as a tip of an arrow. I wondered who the hell she was. She noticed me and my camera but didnít change her behavior: she didnít care about me, she spoke her mind, sometimes vociferated obscenities. I understood that she wasnít acting for the camera and that she would be a great character. But at that time, just after the revolution, I didnít know where I was going. I just knew that I wanted to follow her.

Can you explain the social, political and historical context in which the film takes place?

Amal was born in January 1997. She was 14 in January 2011 when the revolution started, when she was drawn to the streets and was beaten up by the police. In 2012, the first free elections in the country brought the Muslim Brothers to power and Amal lived under their rules until the coup díétat in 2014. At the end of the film, sheís 20. What I found amazing is that year after year, important events have marked in parallel both Egyptian history and her life. Amal talks passionately about the elections and the power, to people she meets or to her mother who sometimes seems a bit lost.

Is it common for the young generation in Egypt to be so interested in political issues?

It is very recent. The moment Amal woke up to this world, she saw only change. Same thing for this whole generation. They saw their friends chased by the police, being beaten, getting killed, or going to prisonÖ Amal even saw her first boyfriend die. Contrary to the older generation who surrendered and chose to surrender to the status quo, so this generationís interest in politics is genuine because they understood that they could change things and that the country is theirs. I donít believe itís a coincidence that Amal means ďHopeĒ. It reflects how much I believe in this generation.

Interview by Pamela Pianezza for Tess Magazine