BASTARDS (12a) with Director’s Q&A
Running time: 83mins
In Arabic with subtitles
Following this screening there will be a Q&A with the director Deborah Perkin.
Written, directed and filmed over two years by award-winning documentary maker Deborah Perkin, Bastards tells the moving and uplifting story of Rabha El Haimer and her heroic fight to have her informal marriage recognized and her daughter legitimized by the Moroccan judicial system
Morocco, as in all Muslim countries, sex outside marriage is illegal and women bear the brunt of society’s disapproval. But what is the fate of the children of those single mothers? They cannot attend the better schools, are turned away from infant immunisation clinics and refused government posts. Jobs, housing and a huge range of social advantages are denied them. They are despised outcasts, condemned to a life of discrimination. Bastards is the first film to tell this story from a mother’s point of view.
When Rabha El Haimer was ‘married’ at the age of 14, she didn’t know that the traditional ceremony had no legal status. Aged 16, and pregnant, she fled the violent man and his family. When her child was born, she discovered society regarded her as no better than any single mother and her cherished daughter, Salma, as a bastard.
But Rabha refused to allow her circumstances to make her into a victim. Instead, unable to read and write and with no family support, she devoted herself to compelling Salma’s father to face up to his responsibilities, and gaining full citizenship for her child. Helping her fight this battle was a unique and radical charity in Casablanca, L’Association Solidarite Feminine.
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