Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf

Saturday, April 20, 2019
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM (ET)
Usdan University Center Usdan 110 (Andersen Meeting Room)
Event Type
Film Screening
Arbo, Rani M.

Official selection of the Miami Film Festival. Screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Susan Youssef. Executive Produced by Academy Award nominated Shari Springer Berman '85 and Co-Produced by Hira Jafri BA '13 MA '14.

Marjoun, clad in all black, with dark eyes and dark hair, is 17 years old and an outsider in her home of Little Rock, Arkansas. Her father Aabid is from Lebanon, and in county jail awaiting trial for his alleged connections to Hezbollah. As she deals with the tensions in her high school and the attempts to get her father out of jail, she takes solace in writing poetry on her typewriter and fancying Chaney, the boy in her math class. When hope dims for her father’s release, Marjoun seeks to take to the open road on a motorcycle. Will she escape or be pulled back into her life in Little Rock?

Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf is set in 2006, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Second Intifada, and Iraq War. We experience these shifts in Arab and Muslim American lives through the three women in Marjoun’s household, in a time when young Muslim women are choosing the hijab independently of their familial traditions to find meaning and strength in their own choices. Finally, this film is set also at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Mississippi. This Zen Buddhist monastery has been established in the tradition of the friendship of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, bringing together the themes of civil rights movements and interfaith practice.

Susan Youssef was a schoolteacher and journalist in Beirut before she turned to filmmaking. An early short film “Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf” (2006) debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, and became the basis for her second narrative feature. Her first narrative feature Habibi (2011), set in Gaza, premiered at Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals and was also an official selection of the Miami Film Festival. It won Best Film, Best Editor, and the FIPRESCI prize at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Sponsored by the Middle Eastern Student Union, Muslim Studies Certificate, Religion Department, SBC, and the Creative Campus Initiative.

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