Suzannah Mirghani’s AL-SIT challenges women’s empowerment

Many times we take for granted the freedom of choice we have living in a western society. Coming from a typically Pakistani background myself I can really relate with the  culture in this beautifully depicted film. Many women do not have the freedom to choose whom they marry, especially in small villages. Al-Sit follows the story of young Nafisa (Mihad Murtada) who lives in a village in Sudan. She is seen working on a cotton field, which is a family business, she flirts with one of the local boys Babiker (Talaat Farid), however all is not what it seems, she wed to be married to a business man who has come from abroad. Nafisa’s Grandmother Al-Sit is set to make the final decision, but it is unclear what her grandmother has planned for young Nafisa. 

Director Suzannah Mirghani chose to keep the Sudanese roots very prevalent in the film, the cast are locals with little to no acting experience however they still manage to give a remarkable performance, showing the true perfection in Mirghani’s direction. 

Al-Sit has been made with great care and attention to detail, every scene, prop and actor give off true Sudanese authenticity, you can really feel the emotion in this film. It’s like you can almost feel the hot, humid air in which they are all sitting through the spectacular cinematography. 

This short film challenges women’s empowerment, freedom, and the patriarchal society all in under 20 minutes, It is a truly authentic and powerful film. This stunning short film can soon be seen at, Carthage Film Festival, Arab Film Festival Arab American Museum,12°N61°W Film Festival, Fickin Film Festival, Aesthetica Film Festival, Leeds International Film Festival, CineOdyssey Film Festival,Cork International Film Festival, Arlington International Film Festival, Chicago Int Children’s Film Fest, Festival di Cinema Africano di Verona and New Orleans Film Festival. 

A beautiful must see film from a director whose star is sure to be rising! Al-Sit has qualified to be considered for an Academy Award and it deserves to make the shortlist!

Regina Mahmood

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