Change Edition

A women's revolution
Culture & Life

A women's revolution

2 min. 04.03.2012 From our online archive
Based around real life events, Cairo 678 tells the story of three women who all rebel against a patriarchal society in which sexual harassment is common-place; but the time for men to go scot-free is over.

Based around real life events, Cairo 678 tells the story of three women who all rebel against a patriarchal society in which sexual harassment is common-place; but the time for men to go scot-free is over.

Shot before the Arab Spring uprisings, the film offers a snapshot into everyday life in Cairo from the perspectives of three women, who experience sexual harassment on a near daily basis. In their homes, at work, and on the streets of the city, Nelly, Fayza and Seba no longer feel safe.

As their paths cross, they encourage each other in their mission to give women the power to defend themselves.

But as they each deal with the repercussions of what happened to them, they need to balance fighting their own battles with fighting for women across Egypt, making some unlikely allies along the way.

While we may think that we are looking at problems of a different culture and while we might think ourselves glad to live in a country where women are emancipated and have equal rights, it is too easy a trap to step into.

The rhetoric of women being at fault, of asking for it, of wearing provocative clothes that make it impossible for men to desist, is one you will find across this globe. That sexual violence and harassment are a woman's shame, that numerous incidents go unreported - you won't have to look far, even here, to find this to be an issue.

But with all the gravity and seriousness of the topic, which director Mohamed Diab never fails to realise, he still manages to keep these women alive, as human beings, with flaws, with fears, but also with humour and laughter.

It is estimated that every one in three women worldwide is a victim of violence in her life. That makes around 1 billion women. This film gives a courageous voice to three of them.

Considering the change Egypt has undergone over the past year, the film almost begs for a sequel, for stories to be told of women in the revolution and beyond.

With International Women's Day just around the corner, this film is a must-see, a tale of courage, of not keeping quiet, of not forgetting, of not letting go, of trying to get justice. It is a film for women, but also their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons, boyfriends and friends, who stand with them.