Director Amr Salama, who emerged as one of the brightest new voices in the new wave of Egyptian cinema with his 2008 debut feature Zay El Naharada, returns with a powerful, heartbreaking, real-life story about an HIV-p...展开ositive woman fighting against prejudice and injustice. At the centre of Asmaa is a bravura performance by Hend Sabry, indisputably the Arab world's leading actress. Sabry turns in a performance that is profoundly moving and ultimately inspirational as she imbues her character with an indomitable spirit that elevates the film from simple biopic into something altogether more affecting. We witness her character's elegantly defiant campaign against the wall of silence. For months, the real-life Asmaa, a working-class widow struggling to support her teenage son, has suffered from the relatively simple ailment of bladder stones. Her concomitant infection with HIV, however, sees her treated as a pariah by the Egyptian medical community. Faced with such an unbearable status quo, she decides to go public with her condition, an unheard-of act for a woman in Egypt; leading to a climax that will leave nary a dry eye in the house.
London Film Festival