Zanzibar Soccer Queens
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This film documents the lives and football activities of Women Fighters, a team of predominantly Muslim women in Zanzibar. It presents a community of strong-willed women determined to better their lives and define new identities through playing soccer. Their involvement with soccer goes beyond the pitch; they travel, party on the beach, and play soccer with men. This film presents a rare and fresh look at the lives of women in Africa, with challenging viewpoints from women determined to achieve personal goals beyond their prescribed traditional roles and expectations. The very concept of Muslim women playing football is not only a novel idea, but it also challenges widely held negative perceptions about the role, image and status of women in Muslim countries where women have many restrictions such as concealing their bodies and not being in public with men who are not their relatives. What motivates these women to play football? How do they deal with society’s attitude towards their love for the game? These, amongst others, are the questions that I was hoping to explore in the process of making the film. The process of researching and defining the content and structure of the film used a variety of documentary techniques such as in-depth personal interviews, conversations and also observing and filming events as they happened. Through the individual interviews, the women speak for themselves rather than just being observed and spoken for; an insider’s view about what it’s like to be African Zanzibar Soccer Queens has been selected and screened at: WORLD PREMIERE AT THE GOTEBORG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (FEBRUARY 2007); REAL LIFE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL IN GHANA (JUNE 2007); SPECIAL INVITATION TO 10TH ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, ZIFF, (JULY 2007); SPECIAL INVITATION TO WOMEN MAKE WAVES FILM FESTIVAL IN TAIWAN, (OCTOBER 2007)
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