In Search of Oum Kulthum
Bangor 24 March 2022

Directors Shoja Azari, Shirin Neshat  90 minutes  Iran/Germany  2017  Drama  Unrated

A film within a film, “In Search of Oum Kulthum” is the plight of an Iranian woman artist/filmmaker living in exile, as she embarks on capturing the life and art of the legendary female singer of the Arab world, Oum Kulthum. Through her difficult journey, not unlike her heroine’s, she has to face the struggles, sacrifices and the price that a woman has to pay if she dares to cross the lines of a conservative male dominated society.

This film is a little-known treasure.

User review from IMDB:  A powerful film about failure, respect, and sincerity, it has been carefully crafted, as if watching a braided essay unfold. I started the film intrigued and confused; I finished intrigued, confused, and enthralled. A cinematic art statement, every scene a visual delight, endowed with a story rarely told. With integrity, and humanity you are captured by the tale of a struggling woman, who has given her all to be successful, to achieve and find grandiose accomplishment in her work and art. To be powerful, like Oum Kulthum. Or at least, to understand her. She fails. Pay close attention to this movie, to the dream, to the musical cues that will pave the emotional course through each scene. At the end, you will find the most respectful, and humble homage to the great Oum Kulthum.