EGY 1983 | Director, Editor: Ateyyat El Abnoudy | Camera: Emad Farid | Sound: Ibrahim Abdellatif | Lighting: Elsayed El Araby | Music: Taha Mohamed Ghazaly | Production: Pierre Hoffmann, Faust Film München, Ateyyat El Abnoudy, Abnoud Film, Kairo | Colour | 16mm | dubbed german version | 31 min | EZEF
Permissible Dreams embodies many of the central themes that Al-Abnoudy would return to time and again throughout her career: the intersections of class, labor, social justice, and the perspectives of women. The film follows farmer Oum Said, who—although she doesn’t read or write—provides a range of essential services to her family. She serves as bookkeeper, doctor, administrator, and visionary, working, in her own words, “to the limits of her possibilities.” In step with Al-Abnoudy’s signature approach to documentary, Permissible Dreams is entirely narrated by Oum Said herself, who describes her daily life on her own terms. The result is an intimate portrait of one individual that resonates across a broader look at social class and identity. (Dareen Hussein, Layla Muchnik-Benali: Film series Signs of Remembering: Women’s Resistance in Middle Eastern and North African Documentaries of Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University 2021)
This film, along with Mujeres del Planeta / Women of El Planeta by Maria Barea (Peru 1981), is part of the seven-part series "As Women See It", distributed by the Evangelical Centre for Political and Developmental Film Work, EZEF.
BRD 1978 | Director, Script, Production: Roswitha Ziegler, Niels Bolbrinker | Camera: Niels Bolbrinker | Music: Gustav Mahler | Colour | DCP of 16mm | 62 min | german OV | Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek
This documentary film is about the shared lives of three generations of women on a farm (a mid-sized operation in Lower Saxony): Grandmother Hermine (82), farmer Helga (45), and daughter Heidrun (21). The lives of the mother and grandmother are marked year in, year out by work in the rhythm of the seasons. Their hard labour will maintain the farm for future generations. Though she currently works as a dental assistant in a nearby town, the daughter will also marry a farmer. She wants to be a farmer because "now I work for a piece of paper at the end of the month, and on the farm, I can see the labour of my hands." The grandmother has internalised her dedication to work. It is her purpose in life; she has known nothing else, and has had no alternative. Her daughter-in-law's life is no different. (R. Ziegler, N. Bolbrinker, 1988)
Followed by a conversation with Roswitha Ziegler