A Balloon for Allah
A Balloon for Allah - Interviews with Nawal El Saadawi, Gamal Al Banna, Asma Barlas, Sheikh Mahmoud Mekki and others.
As a child, Norwegian-Turkish filmmaker Nefise Lorentzen sent balloon letters to Allah—messages filled with all manner of questions and concerns. Still looking for answers today, she sets out to examine the status of women within Islam. Traveling to Cairo, Istanbul, and Oslo, Lorentzen has tea with Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi, finds inspiration in the life of 90-year-old author Gamal Al-Banna, conducts an eye-opening interview with a fundamentalist cleric, and searches out her grandmother’s Sufi-influenced spiritual path, which steered clear of extremism and male dominance. As Lorentzen struggles through this maze, she finds that some questions extend beyond Islam and that there is a link between the three Abrahamic religions and the oppression of women. (58 minutes)
Originally published in Asma Barlas: A Balloon for Allah.