Silent Stories

Silent Stories

64 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Activism, Bisexual, Black / African American, Discrimination, Documentary, Gay, Homophobia, Immigration / Exile, Lesbian, Male-to-Female, Middle Eastern, Muslim / Islam, Religion / Spirituality, Transgender
Program: Documentaries

Expected Guests: director Hanne Phlypo

The most compelling stories are often simultaneously deeply personal and strikingly universal. These two films accomplish both, revealing experiences of queer individuals in Africa and the Middle East.

To the Marriage of True Minds

“Love is not love/Which alters when it alteration finds…” In To the Marriage of True Minds, two Iraqi men test the resilience of love as they try to reunite in the UK. Director Andrew Steggall presents a romantic, beautifully shot story of yearning and the tenacity of love, set to the narration of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

Silent Stories

Silent Stories is a portrait of four individuals—Sara, Jean-Louis, Rabiatou, and Arezki—who were forced to flee their homes of Baghdad, Algiers, Conakry, and Dakar, respectively. With lyrical editing and cinematography this documentary intimately describes each person’s struggles and triumphs related to sexuality and/or gender identity, and the ways in which religious and cultural standards have affected them. Sara, a transwoman from Baghdad, moved to the Netherlands with the support of her mother, who feared for Sara's safety. Jean-Louis is an active member of Africa Gay, an organization dedicated to protecting the vulnerability of sexual minorities from violence and homophobia. Rabiatou is a lesbian whose family, upon learning that she had been intimate with another woman, questioned her right to live. Arezki, a gay man, was able to move to and legally stay in Brussels after marrying Luc, his husband. Honest and unpretentious, these stories celebrate the role of authenticity in survival.

This program contains discussion and images of homophobic & transphobic violence.
— ALEX CHOUSA

Text Voting Codes:

Silent Stories: D325
To the Marriage of True Minds: S631

Co-presented by:

Organization for Refuge



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