A still from the film ‘Leila and the Wolves’. It features a woman who stands with her back turned to the sea. She has dark shoulder-length hair and is dressed in a white baggy dress. She looks toward a group of veiled women in black abayas, who sit together on the sand forming a crescent-like shape that enwraps the woman in white.

On the 40th anniversary of its production, Cinenova is delighted that the new 2K restoration of Heiny Srour’s Leila and the Wolves (1984) will conclude this year’s Open City Docs Festival at ICA. with an introduction by Nadia Yahlom (Sarha Collective).

Leila and the Wolves is a film that reveals a nearly forgotten past of women’s struggle in Palestine and Lebanon attempting to retell these regional narratives from a feminist perspective. As John Akomfrah has written, the film “weaves a rich tableau of history, folklore, myth and archival material.” 

The female protagonist (Nabila Zeitoni) is a Lebanese student living in London in the 1980s, where she is staging a photography exhibition in which women are the unsung heroines of political conflict. Through time-travelling sequences spanning from the 1900s to the 1980s, she traverses both real and imaginary landscapes of Lebanon and Palestine.

In an interview from 2020, the filmmaker Heiny Srour says: “Nowadays, Leila and the Wolves is travelling the world again, more relevant than ever; my unconscious and the collective unconscious of the women of the Middle East spoke together throughout the extreme conditions of making this film.”

You can book your tickets, here. For further booking enquiries, contact info@cinenova.org.

Leila and the Wolves has been restored by CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. Selected for Venice Classics 2021.