In a Tank magazine interview, Qatari-American author Sophia Al Maria discusses Gulf scifi, harassment in Cairo, and revenge fantasies- the inspiration for her forthcoming film Beretta.
That’s why I’m making Beretta. A girl gets a gun and goes on a misandristic killing spree around the city. Some might worry that it comes off as a fascist feminist film. I have the ultimate respect for those who are on the ground physically extracting people from these situations or working in communities to change local reactions. But I’m tired of people “exploring” the “issues” in cinema. I want to make a statement. That is fun to watch. There’s too much good taste in Arabic cinema right now. I just want a little action daydream – some fantasy justice for women in the trenches of the streets.
I’m reminded of rapper Jean Grae’s Taco Day about an abused teen’s meltdown. I wonder if Al Maria can convey the same pain, or if she’s attempting a Kill Bill or Sucker Punch. What a departure from her last work! I’m looking forward to reading that memoir, The Girl Who Fell To Earth, about her life straddling two cultures. My favorite moment in the interview? Asked if she’d like happiness forever, Al Maria ends:
Anyway, I don’t trust happy people. They’re not paying enough attention.