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DDocumentary Competition

Um Ghayeb (Mother of the Unborn)

Um Ghayeb (Mother of the Unborn)

Original Title: Um ghayeb
Director: Nadine Salib
Egypt, United Arab Emirates | Arabic
2014 | 95min.
Subtitles: English
Format: DCP
15+
People search for unspoken or even absolute truths when it comes to the notions of life and death. Fertility is associated with the miracle of creation, but for countless women around the world it is not necessarily a happy subject. Um Ghayeb looks compassionately at this deeply felt experience. Nadine Salib begins her journey to the south of Egypt, often referred to as the forgotten region, in search of infertile women labeled with the name Mother of the Unborn or Um Ghayeb. These women are often stigmatized, treated as a bad omen and forced to perform ancient fertility rituals rooted in their culture. Salib arrives as an outsider into the world of these women and is brought into the intimate fold of their lives, choices and existence. She is confronted with the same questions about being a woman and about motherhood as the people she meets who share her perspective. What follows is a rich dialogue and a fascinating record of varying encounters and world views. Her film is striking in its poetry and quiet meditation on the notions of death and the creation of life. It takes us deep into the daily lives of unpredictable characters, stories to be told and fabulous beliefs as Salib’s journey transforms into a collective search for belonging. —Mohammad Khawaja

Director,  Nadine Salib

Director,  Nadine Salib

Born in Egypt in 1984, Nadine Salib graduated from film school in 2006. She started her career as an assistant director in commercials and then headed to the independent field in the year 2009. Um Ghayeb (Mother of the Unborn) is her first feature-length documentary for which she was supported by IDFA’s Bertha Fund, the Arab Documentary Film Program of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and Hot Docs Blue Ice

Cast and Crew

Director
Nadine Salib
Production Company
Hassala Films
Sales Contact
Hassala Films
Middle Eastern Distributor
Hassala Films
Music
Rami Abadir
Producer
Maartje Alders
Screenwriter
Nadine Salib
Editor
Micheal Yousef Shafek
Cinematographer
Sara Yahya
Sound
Abderahman Mahmoud
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