Million’s Poet is a TV show which is broadcast from Abu Dhabi and is extremely popular in the Arabic world. Rather than having the participants sing or dance, as competitors do on many Western TV shows, the point here is the art of poetry. Most of the competitors are men. When Hissa first sees the show on television, she is struck to see that there are so few noteworthy female contestants, so she signs up. To her delight, she is invited to compete, quickly achieving international fame with her critical poems about extremism and unequal treatment of men and women.

Based on talks with Hissa and TV clips from the show, the documentary paints a picture of Saudi society: how public life changed drastically for women over the years due to increasing strictness and increasingly extreme religious rules and regulations.

Movies that Matter On Tour is a spin-off of the annual Movies that Matter Festival. From October until May film theatres in seventeen Dutch cities host a one-off screening of festival favorites. Each month a controversial film or documentary in combination with introductions or Q&A’s with inspiring guests.

The Poetess Trailer IDFA 2017