investigative documentary, 75'
English & Arabic(subtitled)
director / writer
DIRK VAN DEN BERG
HENRIK SAUER bvk
SEAMS OF DESIRE
The most raunchy lingerie imaginable is not sold in Amsterdam or Paris - but in the old souks of Damascus, Syria. Until the war began, women flocked here from all over the Middle East to buy sexy underwear, while other Arab countries copied the "Damascene Sexy Style" to profit from its enormous popularity. How can such a wild subculture coexist with the traditions and rules of supposedly hermetic Arab societies? What does it do to the women (and the men) in those societies? And how is the war changing this (or not)?
This is a subject people never talk about. But in this film, women with different religions and backgrounds from all parts of society speak up and talk openly about their most intimate moments. Four years ago, cinematographer Muriel Aboulrouss headed an all-female team into the secret realm of Syrian womenhood. Until a war stopped her.
On the surface, even this multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic city seems to be ruled by male tradition. Yet, our first months of filming here gave us remarkable insights of sheer beauty, deep desire and open rebellion among the women of Damascus.
When the war forced us to stop filming, a first roughcut revealed how the lingerie's raunchy side relates to women's intimate desires, hopes and aspirations. Beyond that, our images show a complex society where traditional rules are respected as much as they are overthrown.
The first teaser gives us high hopes that our film would become the first documentary to delicately unveil the intimate and very private "inner world". As soon as the situation allows it, we will go back. And we hope that our friends are still alive..
artwork "Be Colorful" courtesy by Shadi Ghadirian © 2002