The Secret Revolution
They are swathed in religiously-correct floor-length black coats and may neither sit at the wheel of a car without the permission of their husbands nor work: Women in the Islamic monarchy of Saudi Arabia are meant to be invisible. Now they are fighting for change despite stiff resistance. This film portrays the pioneers who want to reform their society. Rasha Hefzi was elected to the city council of Jeddah in December 2015. It was the first election in the country's history where women could both vote and stand as candidates. But the first council meeting was fractious: her conservative colleagues did not want to sit in the same room with her and tried to banish her behind a wall. But Rasha Hefzi stood her ground. She represents a new generation of Saudis, many of who have studied abroad and are critical of their county and no longer wish to be the mere subjects of a repressive absolutist kingdom. Two filmmakers spent several weeks travelling through the desert kingdom, meeting exceptional women who want to change their country's future with wisdom, diplomacy and persistence.