Film library » 2005 » NARRATIVE SHORT » Film details
TAHARA - still #1


NY Premiere

Director: Sara Rashad

United States, 2004, 18 min

Shooting Format:35mm

Festival Year:2005

Category:Narrative Short

Cast:Caroleen Khalil, Yousria Moursy, Aia Nazmy, Dori Mizrahi, Laila Dahger

Crew:Cinematographer: Mark Gutterud - Original Score: Tamer Karawan - Sound: Kilyoung Baek - Production Designer: Ektimal Shbib

Sales:Sara Rashad c/o From the Heart Productions, 1418 10th St, Suite 8 Santa Monica, CA 90401 - T: 310-458-3298 - F: 323-913-1441


TAHARA is the story of Amina, an Egyptian housewife living in Los Angeles, who must decide if she will follow tradition and circumcise her daughter, Suha, or if she will abandon this age old practice. Despite it's illegality, Amina feels strongly that she must continue this tradition because of pressure she receives from her mother, Zeinab, when her husband's away on a business trip. Amina solicits the services of a surgeon who informs her of the serious health consequences. He refuses. When Amina returns home Zeinab argues with her and insists they will take Suha to the local daya (an illegal circumcisor). Amina tosses and turns all night. The next day at the daya's house Amina sits amongst women with Suha beside her. As Amina takes Suha through customary rites-of-passage, she recalls the rich, colorful pageantry of her own circumcision which provides her with strength. However, Amina's also assaulted by repressed memories of her own brutal operation. She is confronted with the horrendous pain she endured and the abandonment she felt by her mother. Will Amina find the necessary courage to confront her mother to save her daughter from the brutal psychological and physical efects of circumcision? Or, will she submit Suha to the same horrifying fate?

About the director

Sara Rashad is the writer, producer, director and editor of TAHARA which won five prestigious awards based on the script. TAHARA is now touring festivals and has also won ten international prizes to date. TAHARA is Sara Rashad's directorial debut in cinema.


Director Sara Rashad will be available for Q&A after the screening.

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