Mark International Women’s Day with this short doc that deconstructs the stereotypes and misconceptions one may have about Muslim women. Released today for free streaming from the NFB, In Full Voice, directed by Saïda Ouchaou-Ozarowski, invites six Muslim women to speak openly and candidly about how they push against the status quo.
Moroccan-Canadian activist Kenza uses her voice in Montreal to challenge the idea that Muslim women are submissive. Comedian Eman, meanwhile, laughs honestly about navigating her family’s traditional views. Non-practising Muslim Sonia, a writer, lays out the heated cultural debate in Quebec about faith, secularism, and identity. In Hamilton, genetic researcher Loubna debates the right to wear a veil, and the right for women to have that choice, rather than have the tradition enforced upon them. Academic Asmaa and artist Farheen, finally, echo the intellectual and creative strengths of Muslim women that aren’t given enough credit.
In Full Voice, which represents the NFB’s recently announced success in maintaining gender parity and expanding the diversity of voices on screen and behind the cameras, invites audiences to be part of a conversation. The six women represent a wider spectrum of experiences than the one-note characters we see in Canadian media. “Whether practising or not, they embody their own versions of Islam, and are quick to dismiss conflations and stereotypes, refusing to be stigmatized. To be reduced to sensationalist headlines. To be silenced,” explains Ouchaou-Ozarowski in her director’s statement. “Whatever society may think, the reality of Muslim women cannot be reduced to the debate around the headscarf. They are plural. They are complex. They are fluid. These Canadian women, by virtue of their lifestyle choices shaped by freedom, eloquently prove that their connection to their spirituality in no way inhibits their openness to the world.”
Watch In Full Voice today from the NFB.
Synopsis: Muslim women are not who we think they are: they’re neither silent nor submissive. Six Muslim Canadian women, all strong-willed feminists, take centre stage to deconstruct the prejudices surrounding them, piece by piece. Unlike mainstream media portrayals, In Full Voice lets the women speak for themselves, and they openly share their unique journeys, without any taboos.
Presented in partnership with the NFB.