- Golden Globe Awards
Amira is a lively and creative teen conceived via artificial insemination from a father who is detained in an Israeli prison. Immensely proud of her father, Amira lives with the hope of meeting the man, spending her time photoshopping him into her arms and her mother’s arms in the pictures she takes with her professional camera.
While the father is still imprisoned, Amira’s parents agree to have another child. The girl’s mother receives another smuggled sample of his sperm and manages everything with the artificial insemination medical center. To her shock, however, the report indicates that her husband is infertile.
From that moment, the family is thrown into chaos. Amira’s father is not the man she idolized, and the pressure falls on her mother to discover the truth. Fears of social rejection arise, as suspicions emerge that Amira’s biological father is one of the Israeli prison guards. The girl goes from the daughter of a heroic captive to the daughter of an Israeli soldier, which is a definite threat to her life and her mother’s. Despite her father and uncle’s reassurance that they love and accept her as family, Amira surrenders to her fear, the overwhelming situation leading her to a tough decision.
Amira is helmed by talented Egyptian director, Mohamed Diab, who co-wrote the script with his brothers Khalid and Sherene. Diab prompts audiences to contemplate the difficult and controversial issues surrounding questions about family lineage, identity, and accepting others. The film is inspired by real-life, with narration confirming 100 instances where Palestinians smuggled sperm out of the Israeli prisons where they were being held captive as their only means of continuing the family lives they once planned.
Boldly and responsibly, Diab digs into this sensitive issue while maintaining a dramatic tension that keeps viewers engaged, thanks in no small part to the editing of Ahmad Hafiz. While filming on-location in Palestine was not possible, cinematographer Ahmad Jaber adds life and high aesthetics injects a sense of realism that makes the Jordanian film set indistinguishable from the real locations.
Supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), Amira premiered at the 78th Venice Film Festival, where it won three awards: the Lanterna Magica presented by the C.G.S. National Association, the Interfilm Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue, and the International Council for Film’s “Enrico Fulchignoni” Award. The movie was also selected as Jordan’s submission for the upcoming Oscars.
The 98-minute film stars Saba Mubarak (the mom) and Ali Suleiman (the father) and the fresh face Tara About (Amira). Amira is a co-production between Jordan, Egypt and Palestine. Representing the Palestinian production team, Diab is joined by Hani Abu Asaad acclaimed director of Paradise Now and Omar which were awarded the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film the Cannes Jury Prize respectively.
Amira is Mohamed Diab’s third film succeeding 678 and CLASH which competed in the 96th Cannes film festival. The film followed the director’s collaboration with Marvel on the upcoming series Moon Knight.