de Nada Riyadh

Next Step Vol.II 2023


Long métrage

Nine-year-old Nour must leave Cairo after stabbing her sexually abusive uncle. Finding refuge on an island upstream of the Nile, she becomes Badr, an androgynous teenager, both feared and mocked. She is the assistant of a mystic healer, Safiya, who cleanses young female trauma victims in the river. When one of them drowns during the sacred ritual, Badr comes incandescent with rage. She then meets Salma, a new patient with whom she falls in love and whom she promises to protect no matter what.

A howl of anger, Nada’s film is a visceral and mythological tale that condemns Egyptian society, riddled with pandemic sexual abuse, endlessly suppressed by moral and religious authorities. It is also the story of burgeoning freedom: that of the body, of sexual assignment and of the replication of violence.