International Festival Signs of the Night - Paris
Festival internatinal Signes de nuit - Paris




October 7th 2022 - 8 pm
Maison du Mexique - Cité universitaire
7, Bd Jourdan, 75014 Paris

An Hours or So


Manal Khaled
Egypt / 2021 / 1:00:00

"An Hour or So” is the story of three women in Cairo who were driven to sex work as a result of poverty. It’s a journey through their lives, telling us how their lives are influenced or have been influenced by their profession. They come from poverty and have ended up in the profession of sex work for different reasons. They talk about their journey that led them to this profession, how they live their lives and their future. Their stories reveal the complex relationship between the physical and the emotional. Sex can be love making, but also can be a commodity. It is part of who we are as humans and how we express our emotions, but also it can be a source of income and a livelihood. With sex workers, how does the emotional and the physical work together within a society that consumes sex, yet criminalises it outside the institution of marriage? The film is narrated by the three women. Each one tells us her story. One woman has suffered violence all her life and is married to an abusive man who takes her money, depriving her of her necessities. She talks about how her mother circumcised her and how she used her and objectified her for certain interests, and how after marriage and until today she is still being objectified. Another woman was driven by anger as a result of an act of betrayal that has led her to leave her family in Upper Egypt and end up in Cairo, where she involuntarily found herself into the profession of sex work. Her story responds to that of the first character. She tells us about how she survives her objectification and the abuses. One of the most compelling stories she tells is the day she was sold as a virgin and what it meant to her. The third travels abroad after using sex to get money she needed. In her journey outside of Egypt, she ended in the profession of sex. Unlike her counterparts, she has profited from the profession and has enjoyed it a lot. Her story is one of strength and victory despite fears of the future and ageing. Connecting the three stories together is the director and producer’s vision and how these stories impacted them on a personal level as women living in the same country. We also feel the objectification of women and how choices are limited due to our sex. We also sense the injustice of inequality in the country and all over the world and how that impacts vulnerable and marginalised people. These three women expose the violence of poverty and how women are deprived of ownership of their own bodies.