In Between's Radical, Glorious Girl Power

Between

Halfway through director Maysaloun Hamoud’s first feature, In Between, Ziad (Mahmud Shalaby) tells his rowdy rebel girlfriend, Leila (Mouna Hawa), “Dress as people want, but eat what you want.” Leila replies, “What happens if I eat what I want and dress as I want?” The exchange speaks to the heart of this inflammatory and celebratory drama about three very different yet fundamentally similar Palestinian women trying to safeguard their true selves while sharing an apartment in Tel Aviv.

Leila parties hard and exerts her power as a criminal lawyer; Salma (Sana Jammelieh), a bartender and aspiring DJ, conceals her lesbianism from her Christian family; and conservative student Noor (Shaden Kanboura) grapples with an abusive, loveless marriage. Hamoud, herself a Palestinian, received death threats upon In Between’s release in her homeland last year, and the film announces her as a firebrand—a fearless storyteller who’s unafraid to explore the complexities of her culture and join the global chorus promoting gender equality.

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