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Freedom Fields

filmmaker : Naziha Arebi
Composer : Katya Mihailova
Qatar, États-Unis, Pays-Bas, Royaume-Uni, Libye, 2018
Production : HuNa Productions, SDI Productions

Anglais, Arabe
French, English


"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”.

Tënk's film review

“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.

Olivier Barlet
Film critic and editor for Africultures

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Naziha Arebi

"Naziha Arebi was born in 1984 to a Libyan father and English mother, and she grew up in the UK where she took a degree in Film Studies. She then moved to Libya. The scenes of daily life and local cultural rituals became the main inspiration for her work whose approach is both aesthetic and documentary. She is particularly interested in notions of gender and women’s place in society. Her photographs and installations have been shown in cities all over the world including Tripoli, Barcelona, Paris and Malta. She also makes short films and documentaries that have been selected at various international festivals."

Other films in the collection: Highlights