A woman in a striped shirt and headscarf sits in a dark room and lets loose in rapid-fire Arabic: “Imagine to what point they’ve terrorized people!” A former schoolteacher, she has been ostracized and intimidated by the rebels for refusing to trade in her long-worn pants for a dress or skirt. Each day she stands in protest outside headquarters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in northern Syria. “They can’t imagine that I’m wearing pants,” she says, then takes a stab at the jihadist fighters. “How can pants be sinful and not a mask?” The film, just four minutes long, is simply titled “The Woman in Pants.”
This is one of the favorite films of Charif Kiwan, the co-founder and producer of an anonymous organization of Syrian filmmakers who call themselves the Abounaddara Collective. “This woman represents the desire of society to free itself,” he says. “We share this fight, [though] she is fighting alone, every day she is demonstrating alone.”
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