Nominated: Grand Jury Prize
- Sundance Film Festival
A young student of the arts, Dunia aspires to be a professional dancer and poet. Her artistic expression is inhibited, however, by her inability to experience and express desire. Dunia's reasoning that women should not move their bodies to evoke an act of love is challenged by the ardent public intellectual Dr. Beshir played by Egyptian superstar singer Mohammed Mounir.
With his help, Dunia begins an all-consuming search for ecstasy in poetry, dance and music taking us into the world of women in a society that both fetishizes and oppresses female sexuality. Ultimately, Dunia learns that she must confront the traditions that have destroyed her capacity for pleasure before she will be able to experience it.
DVD Features Audio: Arabic Subtitles: English Director's Bio Filmography
Dunia offers a colorful package obsessed with sensual surfaces. --Variety
The struggles and difficulties surrounding the making of "Kiss Me Not on the Eyes" were unfortunately of epic proportions.... [My] main challenges were: To obtain permission to shoot the film on location in Cairo, Egypt as the censorship body fought the scenario fiercely... Considering it to be pornographic. [After the] permission was obtained, the next challenge was to set up production, which usually is quite a task, and being weighed down by such controversy only made it harder. Then came finding actors, who had to be convinced of assuming responsibilities for their roles. It was a long and hard process as all [the actors were] concerned about their reputation and also their safety. I would love to write and direct a modern, highly stylized and political musical, based on the paradigms of Western and Arabic musicals-modernized, combined, with artists from both worlds singing together. Maybe the graceful look I carry from the east, beyond the veil of clichés that usually stigmatizes the occidental point-of-view, will allow the orient to be restored in its just and rightful place and value. We have to dare to do what the film is doing now. If we hide and switch ourselves off because we do not want to be slapped, we will not be able to express who we are and what our heritage is. Westerners look at us in a disgusting way, we need to fix this. My excitement was beyond words. I was being fought by everyone for daring to dream and realizing this film, and all of a sudden, the best thing that could ever happen to me, happened - professional recognition by the beacon festival of independent cinema (Sundance Film Festival). --Jocelyne Saab