THE LEOPARDESS

By Naji ABU NOWAR

C'EST AU TROIS - as PROD

Drama - Development 2011

Halima, a young Muslim girl, struggles to survive her family's attempts to murder her in
the name of honour.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • JORDAN, FRANCE
    • Languages
    • FARSI
    • Director(s)
    • Naji ABU NOWAR
    • Writer(s)
    • Naji ABU NOWAR
    • Producer(s)
    • Rupert LLOYD (SHAKOUSK PRODUCTIONS), Svetlana NOVAK (C'EST AU 3)
    • Synopsis
    • The Leopardess is a drama set in Jordan about a young girl who struggles to
      survive her family's attempts to murder her in the name of honour. The story explores the
      loss of innocence and how the pressures of society can destroy a family.
      Halima is a beautiful devout young Muslim girl from a small town in Jordan. Life is
      simple for her. She lives to serve God and her family. She's never really seen the outside
      world. She's never been out of her home unaccompanied; never spoken to a boy who wasn't
      her brother or cousin; she's never been touched.
      Um Faris, Halima's mother wishes for her to marry. The hunt for a suitable suitor
      ensues and Halima fears the worst. When Um Faris finds a match, Halima discovers her
      fears are unfounded. She is betrothed to marry Laith an honorable, kind, virtuous man. She
      is blissfully happy and looks forward to the new world that awaits her.
      But on the eve of her wedding, Halima’s brother creeps into her room at night,
      smothers her mouth and rapes her. He threatens death if she dares tell anyone. Halima's
      world has been ripped to shreds. According to her religious beliefs, the loss of her virginity
      makes her impure.
      On the day of the wedding, the noble Sheikh (Muslim Priest) offers Halima a pen to
      sign the marriage contract. Does she pretend nothing has happened and get married? This
      would be committing a sin to God and a betrayal of her husband. Or does she tell the truth
      and risk death at the hands of her family who might kill her to preserve their honour?
      The pressure of her convictions leads her to confess to being raped. Halima turns to
      her would be husband and looks him in the eyes, "I'm unclean." Her fiancé and his family
      make a quick exit and her incensed, shamed father shoots her, with encouragement from
      her mother, to 'cleanse' their honour.
      But Halima is not dead, just wounded by the bullet. Her survival instincts kick in and
      she struggles to escape the house. Her father is leaving to turn himself into the police
      knowing he will be excused as an honour killing is not considered murder. The horrific
      injustice of it all aggravates her soul. Vengeful fury rises up from deep inside her. Survival is
      not enough she wants revenge. She stabs her brother to death and shoots her mother and
      father with the sound of the call to prayer echoing in her ears. Halima sits in her father's
      chair and offers a prayer for forgiveness. She quietly passes away.
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