The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived
Heiny Srour’s often censored, newly restored work is the only film to document a radical historic moment where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Arabian Gulf (al-Jabhah al-Sha’abiyah li-Tahrir ‘Uman wa-al-Khalij al-‘Arabi, PFLOAG) momentarily created a secular, feminist and equalitarian society in Dhofar, Oman. The collectively made film shows how The People’s Army liberated a third of their homeland and built the first road, hospital, waterhole, pilot farm and school in the country.
Srour’s incendiary work of anti-imperialist, revolutionary feminism remains ever potent fifty years after its making, and a unique document of struggle and resistance in the Arabian Gulf. Featuring the impassioned testimony of liberation fighters, revolutionary songs, and rousing slogans, Srour draws on Arab oral traditions to create a rich and dynamic first-person account of the Dhofar rebellion, foregrounding the voices of the revolution. The People’s Army was notable for its radical position on women’s liberation, providing women with education and military training so they could participate as equals in all parts of the armed struggle. An engaging piece of agitprop cinema, The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived gives vital representation to a moment of anti-colonial hope and liberation. (Alice Miller)
Heiny Srour is a Lebanese filmmaker born in Beirut in 1945, known for being the first Arab woman filmmaker to have a film, Saat El Tahrir Dakkat (The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived), selected for the Cannes Film Festival. She studied anthropology at the Sorbonne under Maxime Rodinson, a renowned Social Anthropologist, and during this time became interested in the ethnographic films of Jean Rouch. Taking influence also from European art cinema, cinema verité and Third Cinema, her work focuses on social justice issues and the role of Arab women in revolutions, where she often films under dangerous conditions.
Woman Global Strike 2000 (video, 2000), Women of Vietnam (video, 1998), The Eyes of the Heart (video, 1998), Rising Above – Women of Vietnam (1997), The Singing Sheikh (video, 1991), Leila and the Wolves (1984), Dhofar/Omar – The Guerillas of the Arabian Gulf (1973), The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived (1974)