As Indians, most of us have grown up on a liberal dose of Bollywood movies but have had a limited exposure to world cinema — especially from the Middle-east. A film on the Egyptian star, Soad Hosni, being screened in the city might just be a great way to broaden one’s cinematic horizons. “I was very keen to show my film in India, as the people here have a great eye for cinema. India is all about movies. Most Indians would relate to the movie well,” says Rania Stephan, director of the movie.
The three disappearances of Soad Hosni — who got to know of Hosni while studying cinema in Australia. “In fact, I would love to make a film on the Indian yesteryear actor Meena Kumari — who seems to have had a similar fate,” says the Lebanese filmmaker.
Stephan’s film traces the journey of the Hosni from an aspiring actor, full of ambition, to becoming the lead heroine who starred in 82 films and her tragic but controversial death. The real and reel seem to merge in the 70-minute film as Stephan has used stills along with dialogues and music from Hosni’s very own films to create her biopic.
“It was tough to make a film on a controversial figure who is no longer even alive to confirm or negate the details. I saw all her movies and then patched up the pieces from different films to resemble her own life as closely as possible,” says Stephan. “According to my research, she was probably stuck in her own image of Zoozoo- the most polar character she played in a movie where she tries to seduce a man. Zoozoo became a role model for many girls,” adds the filmmaker.