Logline: This is a story about Shadia Elamin, who overcomes her depression with preforming arts and music therapy during her childhood.
Our documentary opens with a media close-up shot of a young girl, Shadia, awakened by the spiritual singer with his crew. They sing and play music with aharp in her right ear. We hear Arabic music playing in the background before the sun as it rises and sets.
We cut to a wide spiritual ceremony in Shadia’s parents’ home in Sudan. Shadia is treated as a little prince by her parents and the people who are hired by them to organize the ceremony. The camera zooms in on Shadia, who is dressed in fine attire and adorned with precious jewelry.
The camera pans across the room where we see spiritual singers sing for Shadia, and guests dance on the preforming stage in her parents’, backyard. The sheep and white pigeons, are killed for sacrifices and cooked deliciously with herbs and spices, which give off a pleasant aroma. They are then served to the guests, singers and entertainers. Shadia is encouraged and honored during the ceremony to build up her self-esteem.
A stage is built where Shadia dances as a movie star. Only a few people with such privilege as Shadia can dance on the stage behind her. Shadia is from a strict Islamic culture. The people there are unhappy with Sharia laws, which limit their freedom of speech and expression. The camera gives us a closer look at the Islamic culture, where boys and girls go to separate schools.
Particularly, women’s voices are not heard outside of the house, and they are not allowed to express themselves, or to take pictures of themselves, or travel without a sponsor. Young Shadia questions herself about why people act this way and hurt each other for no reason.
Shadia has been securitizing herself thoroughly to the point that it makes her create an atmosphere for entertaining, so she can forget about the lingering questions and move on with her life. There aren’t any solutions to them in the part of the world she lives in.
We see the spiritual singer with his crew are singing, and people are dancing, enjoying themselves. Her family threw her a party each year that lasted for a week. Shadia’s parents’ house is transformed into a theater for her to entertain the audience so that she can celebrate life and get out of depression.
The family pays the export to organize the ceremony for Shadia on this occasion. The organizers make the sage in the back yard of the house and decorate with red, white, green flags hanging up for everyone to notice the occasion.
Incense is being burning slowly, the smell of it filling all the corners of the house. Shadia is been pampered by wearing lavish jewelries and dressing her in a unique uniform, ready to dance. They make her look like a movie star preforming live on the theater stage. Only a few people are equivalent to Shadia; they are the ones who can dance on her stage.
People protect Shadia and keep her from the outside while, her friends guard her and keep her spirits elevated by pampering her, making Shadia happy, serene and entertained. At the end of the documentary, We see Shadia pray using the words of T.S Eliot: “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where westarted…and know the place for the first time” (Eliot, Four Quartets 47). We see Shadia encourage herself through the words of T.S Eliot: “Only those who will risk going too far can possible find out how far one can go,” (Eliot, Preface to ‘Transit of Venus’ ix).