"Freedom Fields" follows three women and their football team in post-revolution Libya, as the country descends into civil war and the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring begin to fade. Through the eyes of these accidental activists, we see the reality of a country in transition, where the personal stories of love and aspirations collide with History. A love letter to sisterhood and the power of the “team”.
“Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing”… With this opening, Naziha Arebi sets the footballers’ determination in its political dimension right from the start. She follows them over five years, forging a relationship that anchors the film in a fertile intimacy. It’s their daily resistance, the relentless struggle to transcend their destiny of marriage, to exist not only as nurturing mothers in this, a man’s world, but also to go beyond their disappointments, frustrations and anger that Naziha Arebi documents with extraordinary skill in a Libya still prey to war and insecurity. They don’t raise their fists or shout slogans – they’re simply fighting so that the revolution concerns them too, in a crucial demand highlighted by sport – to do as they wish with their own bodies.
Film critic and editor for Africultures
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