For nine years, until she agreed to an arranged marriage, Salma was trapped first by her family and then again by her husband – physically locked away, unable to continue her education and forced to write her passionate words secretly. Only Salma’s anger and determination kept her focused on obtaining her freedom. When Salma’s visceral poems reached a publisher, their frank and open observations about her own sexuality, her forced marriage and her village’s customs made her an overnight sensation, much to the displeasure of her family and village. Pushed into running in an election as a village leader by her husband, Salma unexpectedly is elected and becomes the voice for women also imprisoned by the same fate. Her legendary refusal to follow traditional Muslim customs and her outspokenness about the treatment of village women secure her status as a true rebel in the face of an ancient and brutal tradition.
Crafted as a slowly unfolding detective story, Longinotto carefully peels past the layers of contradictions that define Salma—an engaged, contributing protagonistwhose emerging voice loudly soars above the “knots and ties of love” used to imprison the female heart and soul.
One of the foremost documentary filmmakers working today, Kim Longinotto is renowned internationally for her compelling human portraits and her sensitive andcompassionate treatment of unknown topics.
By seeking out, observing, and following the untold stories of women’s daily lives, she has created cinema vérité portraits of the larger society and culturalcustoms. Longinotto’s first film, Pride of Place, a critical look at a girls’ boarding school, was made while she studied camera and directing at England’s NationalFilm School. Theatre Girls, shot in a hostel for homeless women, followed soon after. These films established Longinotto’s capacity for confronting some of the mostdifficult aspects of women’s realities around the world. After graduating from the NFS, she worked as the cameraperson on a variety of documentaries for TV andembarked on collaborations with several film partners.