With Open Eyes

A documentary about four female film directors from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.


With open eyes (video, colour, 76', 2009) follows four female film directors all originated from various Middle Eastern countries (Egypt, Jordan, Palestine), in a moment of their life and work. For the first time these artists will move from behind the camera to tell us about their eye behind the camera.

With Open Eyes approaches the eye as a tool of creation, a source of inspiration and an element of reproduction of complex realities. Three women, three visual and audio tales of contemporary filmmaking who live and create under authoritarian regimes.


The film opens with short and successive images of the busy streets of Cairo. The first portrait is about Heba Youssry, a young cairote film director of 23 who has already caught the attention of many. Dalia Al Kury is also 23 and one of the first video documentary filmmakers in Jordan. Zeina Durra was born and raised in London, of Palestinian parents. She  had just finished a short fiction and was working on her first feature length. Annemarie Jacir is palestinian. She is forbidden from coming back to Palestine because of her political views and choice to work with a crew who, despite their legal efforts, did not obtain their permits as west bankers. She directed her first feature (Salt of this sea) in Palestine. The film wa shown in Cannes, Un Certain regard, 2009.


The editing is voluntarily set as independant portraits in both image and sound conception. The portraits include a set of interviews, photographs, film extracts, storyboards and music to give an insight into their vision, in a plural dimension.


This film has received the financial support of DEDI (Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute) and the ward for best feature documentary at Les rencontres de l'image Festival, 2009.