Barakah Meets Barakah

Mahmoud Sabbagh

Hilarious rom-com from Saudi Arabia about neighbourhood watch member Barakah, who falls for the wiles of progressive, gorgeous Bibi. But how should they date in a society where men and women are not allowed to meet casually and where physical contact is strictly forbidden?

Synopsis

Genial Barakah, a mild-mannered man, is a neighbourhood watch member in the Saudi city of Jeddah. He is responsible for ensuring that the rules are obeyed and takes a gentle, peaceful approach to his work. When he checks out an illegal photo shoot on the street, he meets the beautiful Bibi. The adopted daughter of rich parents, she has her own vlog which she uses to promote her mother's luxury clothing boutique. Bibi is famous and notorious for her social media presence; she posts audacious photos and videos and completely disregards all the rules for women. She goes out on the street without wearing a veil, drives a car, and drinks alcohol. Barakah falls head over heels in love with her and desperately wants to meet her again. But how is he supposed to get to know her in a country where it is forbidden for men and women to meet casually in public?

In his debut film, newcomer Mahmoud Sabbagh sketches a refreshing perspective on how conservative traditions and laws collide with the modern world, dominated by mobile phones and social media. Remarkably, the film managed to get through the strict government checks and became the official Saudi submission for the 2017 Oscars – in spite of, or perhaps because of the humorous opening line of the film: 'The pixelization you will experience during this film is totally normal. It is not a commentary on censorship. We repeat, it is not a commentary on censorship.'

Text: Annika Wubbolt

Credits

Saudi Arabia 2016, 84 min.

Fiction,

Spoken language: Arabic

Subtitles: English

Productions:

El Housh Productions

World sales:

MPM Film

festival@mpmfilm.com; info@mpmfilm.com

+3158535712

www.mpmfilm.com

When & where?

  • Monday, March 27, 2017 - 18:45

    Zaal 2, Filmhuis Den Haag
    No more tickets available.

  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 14:00

    Zaal 2, Filmhuis Den Haag
    Buy tickets here

  • Friday, March 31, 2017 - 15:00

    Zaal 3, Filmhuis Den Haag
    Buy tickets here

  • Saturday, April 01, 2017 - 16:30

    Zaal 1, Filmhuis Den Haag
    Buy tickets here

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Talkshows & debates

Barakah meets Barakah: Q&A with Carolien Roelants & Maria Ahmed

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 18:45

Floor Beuming (Amnesty International) speaks with journalist Carolien Roelants and student Maria Ahmed about the clash between modernisation and the strict conservative rules of Saudi Arabia.

Barakah meets Barakah: Q&A with Annemarie van Geel

Saturday, April 01, 2017 - 16:30

Annemarie van Geel speaks about gender segregation in Saudi Arabia.