BU shows documentaries in “Women of the Muslim World” series

For immediate release: Feb. 1, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will offer a view into the lives of Muslim women through a documentary series “Women of the Muslim World.”

The next film in the series, “For a Place Under the Heavens,” will be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in McCormick Center, room 2303. The film offers a perspective on Pakistani women trying to cope with the increasing religious aspects of civil and political life. Director Sabiha Sumar, winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival, mixes political analysis with interviews of activist colleagues, Islamic scholars and Pakistani women who have chosen to embrace fundamentalism. The film portrays the tensions between liberal and fundamentalist forces that are shaping life in contemporary Pakistan.

Future films in the series, all beginning at 7:30 p.m. in McCormick Center, room 2302, include:

  • “Divorce Iranian Style” on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The film will look at several weeks in an Iranian divorce court, showcasing three women fighting for what they want, whether it is to get away from an abusive husband or to gain custody of their children. With the barest of commentary, directors Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini turn their camera on the court and let it tell its own story. The film dispels stereotypes of Iran as a country of war, hostages, “fatwas” and Iranian women as passive victims.
  • “Haram: Yemen, the Hidden Half Speaks” on Wednesday, Feb. 20. The film presents the personal narratives of individual women struggling for self-determination in contemporary Yemen. Among the women profiled is Aisha, who defies both tribal law and her imposing father to sneak off to school and educate herself. When she is discovered, an entire village comes to her aid, convincing her father to drop his threats to kill her for the “crime” of being educated.
  • “Picture Me and Enemy” on Wednesday Feb. 27. Two young women from opposite sides of the war in former Yugoslavia try to add to the understanding of how religion, ethnicity and nationality can construct the identity of an “enemy.” The film combines traditional interviews, cinema-verite Super-8 clips, archival footage and family photos with an eclectic soundtrack

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.