The Poetess(HRDFF 2019)
Hong Kong Premiere

How could a woman use poems as an impetus for social change? In 2010, Saudi poetess Hissa Hilal made headlines across the globe as the first woman to enter the final round of "Million's Poet”, a famous million-dollar reality television show in the Arab world. Behind her black burqa and from her trembling body and voice was a strong voice of dissent which required enormous bravery. Her poems criticised Islamic fatwas and patriarchal society which suppressed women from the freedom of movement, the right to clothing and even the right to drive. Hissa persisted while there were death threats toward her and her family. Bit-by bit, the predominately male members in the society were impressed by Hissa’s poems which were deemed to be rebellious. Using poems as a weapon to alter the social system and going viral in a male-dominated society, would Hissa become the first-ever winning female in the competition?

The film was nominated for the 2018 European Film Awards and selected for the 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
Stefanie Brockhaus, Andreas Wolff
Release Date
English, Arabic
Run Time
89 minutes
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