Political Analysis

The Conscience Shadow Film Won UN Award

By Wafa A. Alkazzan

The movie is called “Conscience Shadow,”. The UN gave it an award in a contest with the theme of the reality of sexual harassment against women in Yemeni society. It won as the best film that talks about human rights in Yemen. That subject matter, which is still suffering from media ignorance and both social and legal prejudice, betrays wider problems through troubling statistics.

Abeer Sallam the Yemeni woman who is a projection of the wider suffering of Yemeni women, is the protagonist of the short film which discusses the emotional and social constraints faced by the victims of harassment of women in their daily lives.

Abeer Sallam talked about the importance of spreading awareness of this issue. She said that “the phenomenon of sexual harassment of women intersects with more forms of violence and discrimination against women, and is the most common form of encroachment on human rights.”

“The phenomenon of sexual harassment enters the cycle of violence and terrorism in the traditional society and has multiple manifestations. I try to bring the curtain down with the community, by showcasing a transition of it being a phenomenon of individual cases to how it poses the problems and fears faced by a lot of women at different ages.”

She added that this phenomenon has psychological, health, social and economic effects that not only affect a woman’s life and personal dignity, but also cause damage to the social and economic fabric as well.

“The film is dedicated to each Yemeni girl who is suffering from harassment and suffers in silence. The emergence of the issue leads to determining the extent of moral decay in the society, which has become a culture prevalent in some neighborhoods. This is particularly true with religious matters and adherence to customs and traditions that have become fractured with time.”

The director Abeer Sallam summed up a lot of things through her film and which has duration of less than 10 minutes. She showed psychological suffering that suffer under the presence of the victim, and also showed a reality in which the harasser in the absence of criminal law and even moral code. May God preserve the dignity of women in Yemeni society.

She explained the reason of naming the film “Conscience Shadow.” She said the conscience shadow is of every harasser. The harasser is reflected in a shadow, and his conscience will not show his shadow as beautiful or good. It will be cloaked by the ugly, because his conscience will not appear under the weight of his conscience. The damage he has inflicted on women will prevent his spirit from being seen.