Mashrou’ Leila ‘Roman’ by Jessy Moussallem

Mashrou’ Leila ‘Roman’ by Jessy Moussallem
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Jessy Moussallem's epic video for Mashrou’ Leila's Roman is an ode to the strength and grace of Arab women and their continuous fight for feminist action, featuring one hundred women. 

Revolving around the lyrical pivot in the chorus: “aleihum” (charge!), it uses a group of women who’s ethnic
backgrounds are consciously over-articulated through choices of styling and location in a manner more typically
employed by Western media to represent victimhood and oppression. By doing so, the film seeks to disturb the global narrative of hyper-secularized white feminism, which positions itself as being ideologically incompatible with Islam and the Arab World.

The still, pale landscape allows the force of the women’s resolute dignity to radiate, as the dancer’s fierce
movements cut through the quietude. Together, the women walk into the water, confident in their agency and
fearless in their determination for a sea change. The unique spirit of the film emerges from the gut of the Middle East through the work of the music, the narrative, and the Arab female director behind it.


Jessy Moussallem
Production Company
Clandestino Films
Production Company
Executive Producer
Wissam Smayra
Executive Producer
Ray Barakat
Executive Producer
Katie Dolan
Farah Assaf
Antoine Taymour Sfeir
Director of Photography
Daniel Fernández Abelló
Tuixén Benet
Dorine Aguillar
Carlos Font Clos
Houmam Abdallah
Grading company
Sebastien Leclercq
With special thanks to
Cherif Massoud, Andre Chammans, Sarah Huneidi, Ayla Hibri, Melanie Dagher, Toni Sfeir, Coco Germanos, Nour Saliba, Gabriella Kassab, Reem Khoury, Maya Ammar

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