Human Rights Watch 2015
Traverse City, Athena, Sebastopol Doc
An eye-opening look at the disturbing treatment of women during Egypt’s tumultuous revolution.
While the story of Egypt’s so-called Arab Spring – Tahrir Square, and what came after – has been the subject of numerous documentaries over the past eight years, few have given sufficient focus on the crucial role women played, nor on the incidents of sexual violence enacted upon female protestors and activists. Reticker profiles several women who recount their experiences, moving from the heady joy of standing up for their freedom, to disillusionment as democratic ideals fell by the wayside as factions emerged, to despair at the ill treatment they received from some male activists, including, in several horrific cases noted here, public molestation, humiliation, and physical violence. Compounding these abuses – sometimes officially sanctioned, such as so-called “virginity tests” – the women sometimes face legal charges, while their assailants manage to survive unscathed, making this provocative project a witness against such injustice.