Yemen 2006, Documentary, 53' | Director, Screenplay, DoP, Production Khadija Al-Salami | Editor, Sound Emmanuel Zouki | Music Julio de Gouvenain

When she was eleven-years-old, Amina Al-Tuhaif married a man considerably older than her. At the age of 14, the mother of three was condemned to death for murdering her husband. For nine years she has been waiting for her sentence to be enforced. At first, Amina could not be hung because she was too young according to Yemeni law. The execution was then delayed, among other things, because Amina became pregnant after being raped by a prison guard. She was granted a stay of execution until the child no longer needed to be breast-fed. Amina protests her innocence. But nobody believes her and her family break off all contact with her. Twice she was able to escape from prison, but she went back, as she realised that she was in more danger outside than behind bars.

Even when watching the film, doubts arise about the course of events. The camera does not want to go into what really happened. Yemeni director Khadija Al-Salami was herself the victim of a forced marriage when she was still just a child. She talks through Amina’s story of suffering with her, one that is typical of the role of women in Arabic society.


Khadija AL-Salami
is the first Yemeni filmmaker. She was born in 1966 in Yemen. When she was 16 she won a scholarship to go to school in the USA. Later she took a degree in Communication Science at the American University in Washington. Al-Salami lives today in Paris. She produced many documentations for French and Yemeni television and works for the Yemeni embassy. In her autobiographical book The Tears of Sheba she came to terms with her childhood, which was marked by civil war, domestic violence and a forced marriage.

Khadija Al-Salami
Focus: Freedom