THESE GIRLS
(El-Banate dol )
© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.

          From a xenophobic viewpoint, some
  Americans tend to think that certain issues are
  endemic only to our shores. In reality, many
  countries suffer with some of the same social
  issues that we do. One example is runaway or
  throwaway children. Large cities are often
  dotted with kids who have escaped from abuse
  or other atrocities and who have sought refuge
  on the mean streets. As filmmaker Tahani
  Rached shows in her intriguing documentary
  THESE GIRLS (EL-BANATE DOL), the issue
  extends as far away as the streets of Cairo.

          A profile of several young women living in
  poverty and squalor, the film seeks to educate
  the viewer on the plight of these oppressed
  females. Each day is fraught with danger and
  threats, whether it is from the police who seek
  kickbacks or from their male counterparts who
  kidnap them, hold them hostage and make them
  sexual slaves. A sign of their struggles is whether
  or not their faces have been defiled by scars.
  Another is whether or not they are raising children
  in the same environment.

          There are moments in the film that are heartbreaking. You can feel that
  
THESE GIRLS are simply that, young women, children at heart, despite having
  had to harden their exteriors. They can be scrappy and belligerent, or tender
  and vulnerable.

          One of the main characters is also an extraordinary woman named Hind,
  a devout Muslim, who is involved in an outreach program designed to help the
  street dwellers. She is seen offering counsel and comfort and mediating
  difficulties.

          A slice of life that shines a light on an area some may wish to forget,
  Tahani Rached's
THESE GIRLS offers the viewer the opportunity to confront
  an overlooked and often dismissed world.

  
                                  Rating:                B
An image from These Girls
(El-Banate dol )
Directed by Tahani Rached,
Egypt

Photo Credit: Studio Masr