Fatima Jebli Ouazzani
Netherlands 1997 | 67 Min. | 35 mm, OmeU

»In our islam­ic soci­ety , it’s always the woman who pays the price, why?« With these words a young Maroc­can woman sums up, the until today unbro­ken patri­achal dom­i­nance of the sexes in her home­land, as well as the sub­ject of this very per­son­al, thought­ful, pro­vok­ing and com­mit­ted inves­ti­ga­tion into the family his­to­ry of the direc­tor Fatima Jebli Ouaz­zani. In a con­ver­sa­tion with her grand­fa­ther, he declares furi­ous­ly and openly:« A deflow­ered woman is like yesterday’s cous­cous«. Even today , many Maroc­cans think like him, who mar­ried off his daugh­ter when she was 14, and assume that a woman can only enter mar­riage as a virgin. In this film the direc­tor gets to the bottom of the myth of the hymen. 

At the age of eleven, Fatima Jebli Ouaz­zani came to the Nether­lands with her par­ents. Seven years later her father repu­di­at­ed his wife and mar­ried a sev­en­teen-year old Maroc­can girl. In order to escape the same fate as her mother, Fatima left her father’s house when she was 18. Today she lives as a fil­mak­er in Hol­land, unmar­ried and with­out chil­dren. Her film doc­u­ments, apart from the con­ver­sa­tions with her grand­par­ents, a tra­di­tion­al Maroc­can wed­ding to which even eman­ci­pat­ed women, who have long lived abroad, submit themselves. 

In staged sequences , she remem­bers her father again, who used to love her uncon­di­tion­al­ly until she reached the mar­riage­able age.«