Post adolescence meets post revolution. When violence became a language in the Egyptian streets, anger became Amal’s destiny and destination.
A coming of age story in the post-revolution Egypt following a young girl over 4 years from the age of 15 – 19, this observational self-discovery journey follows one girl’s exploration and search for her own place, identity and sexuality growing up in a male-dominant violent society within a constantly changing country as she transitions from childhood into adulthood while we witness what does it take to grow up as a young female within a police state in a post-revolution era, and how little choices a young woman could have.
After two short years of the hope sparked by the Egyptian revolution in 2011, free elections took place but were followed by a military takeover. Egypt returned to its former state of dictatorship, leaving the wounds of a hijacked revolution to fester.
The film starts with Amal as a kid at the age of 14 after she was dragged from the police in the middle of the square in a very famous footage that was broadcasted worldwide and never seen who was that young girl behind that footage with her face covered by the sticks and shoes of the soldiers.
After all the protests are gone and the media circus is wrapped up, we start the film by following Amal’s transformative journey through the veil, depression, attempting suicide, education, love through finding her sexual orientation to the pressure of conforming to the society.
Amal goes in every direction reflecting the upheavals that are happening in the country each single year – e.g. from wearing the veil in the time of Muslim Brothers then taking it off when they’re ousted by the military – until the age of 19 when she joins law school and about to enroll into a police service made especially for women.
What we witness in between these extreme spectra make us understand what does it take to survive in a police state. She started by opposing the authority and police until we see her at the end joins them and we understand that in order to survive one is forced to either defy these challenges for the rest of their life or to conform and swallow one’s anger.
Amal embodies that confusion that Egypt has as a state. Each is trying to reach an adult status while the tough authoritarian regime and the political twists are effecting every single decision of hers to the point where we witness how little choices she could have in these multiple crossroads in her life to shape her life with these decisions.
Amal, whose name literally translates to “hope”, is carving a place for herself within this hostile environment by defying an older generation and a pro-state family with her judge mother and her uncle who is the current governor of Cairo.