Mitra, an ambitious artist, mother and wife in her late 40s, embarks on her lifelong dream of making a film about her hero, the legendary singer of the Arab World, Oum Kulthum. Her film’s central aim is to explore the struggles, sacrifices and the price of Oum Kulthum’s success as a female artist living in a conservative male dominated society.
Mitra herself achieved fame and success abroad, but her career choices made it impossible to return home, which separated her from her son and family.
The increasing difficulties of capturing Oum Kulthum’s essence as a myth, a woman, and an artist lead Mitra to have a complete breakdown.
Now Ghada, an exceptionally gifted actress and singer playing the role of Oum Kulthum, comes to Mitra’s rescue, as she is connected to the core of life and femininity and is naturally wise. Through this Mitra achieves self-realisation and an artistic breakthrough.
Director Shirin Neshat in collaboration with Shoja Azari
Script Shoja Azari and Shirin Neshat
DoP Martin Gschlacht
Production Design Erwin Prib
Costume Design Mariano Tufano
Sound Claus Benischke-Lang
Editing Nadia Ben Rachid
Producers Roman Paul, Gerhard Meixner, Bruno Wagner, Martin Gschlacht, Antonin Svoboda, Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari
Iranian born artist/filmmaker living in New York, Shirin has won the Biennale award twice in 1999
with her video work and in 2009 with her first feature film Women Without Men which received
the "Silver Lion Award". Her photographic and video works have been displayed in all the greatest
She received the Chrystal Award in 2014 at the Davos World Economic Forum.
On her script Looking for Oum Kulthum Shirin Nesaht worked together with Shoja Azari and
In November it was announced, that Shirin Neshat will direct Aida at the Salzburger Festspiele 2017.