Jude Chehab’s debut feature untangles her family’s connection to a Syrian religious order, making for a nuanced and tense exploration of matrilineal trauma.
Al-Qubaysiat, a women’s religious order born of Syria’s Islamic revivalist movement, has long attracted controversy over its ideology, practices and allegiances. For Jude Chehab’s family, it is a wedge that has divided loyalties and caused antagonism between those wedded to the faith and everyone else. In particular, it created an irrevocable distance between the filmmaker, her mother and her grandmother. Weaving together the memories of these three generations, Chehab’s impressive feature-length debut is a heart-wrenching portrait of a domestic environment pushed to breaking point. Told through a mix of interviews, first-hand observational footage and archival material, Q
melds dreamlike visuals with intimate slices of life, made all the more striking by former cinematographer Chehab’s eye for captivating details.
Content Guidance: Contains themes of familial and religious abuse.