Movie Suggestion: Asma

There is nothing like watching a good movie that hit’s the spot. The movie Asma fits perfectly in this category. Ok . ok . I am sold for any movie by the beautiful Hind Sabry. She knows how to pick her work and she adds a certain elegance to whatever role she takes on. Asma is a 2011 Egyptian drama that was nominated for several international awards.

Asma is a middle-aged single mother in Cairo who lives with a BIG secret. She is living with AIDS.  A big secret that only a selected few know about. She is in desperate need to undergo a gallbladder removal surgery (cholecystectomy) but most doctors refuse to treat her. Those who agree to help her want to first know how she contracted AIDS in order to decide if she were worthy of their help or not. 

Asma’s message to the viewers is that it doesn’t matter how people contracted AIDS. They remain human and they have the right to be treated like human beings. The biggest killer to AIDS patients isn’t the AIDS itself but the people who judge these patients.

As Asma’s writer & director Amr Salama, puts it “It’s rather about love, courage, overcoming fear and fighting for personal rights.”

Another major topic that the movie touched upon is FEAR, especially, fear of what people will think of us. The movie is inspiring as Asma finally finds freedom and a heavy weight has been uplifted. T

Asma is inspired by true events but unfortunately, the real Asma faced a sad ending.

Of course, the movie has its flaws. It is slow, the timeline can be a bit confusing, and the make-up could have been better.  I was a little bit disappointed that misconceptions about AIDS weren’t clearly addressed. No distinction was made between AIDS and HIV. But in a way, this didn’t bother me.  I am unaware of any Arabic movies that sympathize with AIDS patients. They usually stigmatize AIDS as a punishment and a consequence of unwanted behavior or  

If you haven’t seen Asma yet, check it out on Netflix. Let me know what you think. I promise I will not get upset if you didn’t like it

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