Friday, January 21, 2011

Arab-American film 'Three Veils' OC premier

'Three Veils' - a controversial film about three Middle  Eastern women tackles social taboos such as gender issues, religion and homosexuality. 
Leila, Amira, and Nikki are three young, Middle Eastern women in America, each with a story that intertwines with the other as their journeys unfold.
Leila, beautiful and romantic, is arranged to be married to Ali, a rich family friend who's always had a longing for her. Leila goes along with the arrangement, as she's enraptured by thoughts of her first time with a man.
When Leila meets Jamal, a 17 year-old waiter (and Amira’s brother) at a rehearsal for her wedding, Ali's jealousy and religious extremism start to flare. This provokes Leila to spend a night with Jamal, who shows her the thrill of a care-free love. Ali senses this, and a few days before their wedding, forcefully pressures her into having sex, taking away her virginity, and along with it her choice to be with another Muslim man.
After being molested as a child, Nikki's mother kills herself for shame, driving her father to become distant and abusive. This sexy, yet troubled young Iranian girl loses her motive and purpose in life and eventually finds solace in alcohol, and boasting a promiscuous reputation.
At her moment of great need, Nikki turns to Leila for refuge but is confronted with a disappointing reality: Leila’s mother forbids her from seeing Leila who submits to the will of her family. Nikki, now alone, finds herself in a drunken stupor and passes out in the school bathroom. Enter Amira, an unpopular, shy and quiet student who by shear luck, finds Nikki in this state and tries to help. Though Amira is a practicing Muslim, she develops some tenderness for Nikki who is obviously down-spiraling out of control.
However, Amira’s tenderness soon turns into an unexpected crush, and then into a fervent attraction, as she tries to fight the internal battle between her dedication to God and her attraction for Nikki! 

The film, directed by Arab-American filmmaker Rolla Selbak and produced by the Orange County-based Zahra Pictures, is soon to be released in the US. Check out this "featurette":

The film will be screened on Monday April 25th, 7pm - 10pm at Fullerton College Campus Theater (Fullerton, CA). Attendance is free of charge. A Q/A discussion session will follow the film.
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