The two documentaries, more than thirty years apart, are a live shot of invisible female communities living in public space. On the one hand, the French director Carole Roussopoulos, one of the voices of European feminism in the 1970s, filmed the protests of a group of prostitutes occupying a church in Lyon; on the other hand, the Canadian-Egyptian director Tahani Rached follows a group of adolescents in the streets of Cairo.

1975, 46’
Original French version with English subtitles

Director: Carole Roussopoulos
Country: France
Distribution: Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir

In the spring of 1975, around two hundred prostituted women occupied the Saint-Nizier church in Lyon. Laughing or fearful in front of Carole Roussopoulos’s camera, or awkwardly concealed, they testify as women and mothers to demand that the police, fiscal and social harassment of which they are victims cease. Outside the church, video monitors broadcast the proceedings to passers-by, mostly men.

THESE GIRLS (El-Banate Dol)
2006, 68’
Original Arabic version with English subtitles

Director: Tahani Rached
Country: Egypt
Distribution: Studio Masr (Elixir Artistic Services)

The documentary follows a group of teenage girls living on the streets of Cairo, between indigence and the constraints of a patriarchal society. They encounter rape, drug addiction, prostitution, pregnancy and motherhood on the streets. While the girls’ troubles are not downplayed, neither are their courage, playfulness and vibrant camaraderie. The documentary reveals an invisible world; what stands out is the strength and joy that these girls project.