Back to All Events

M{if} Discourse Series: Heiny Srour Film-Screening and Public Lecture



\\ At Museum of Impossible Forms, Kontula

In collaboration with Academy of Moving People and Images & Aalto University/Critical Cinema Lab

Curated by Ahmed Al-Nawas

Museum of Impossible Forms in collaboration with Academy of Moving People and Images and Aalto University/Critical Cinema Lab, warmly welcomes filmmaker Heiny Srour, one of the important female filmmakers in the Third Cinema movement of the 70s, to screen and discuss her seminal film  ‘The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived’ .

Born in 1945 in Beirut, Srour studied sociology at the American University in Beirut and then completed a doctorate in social anthropology at the Sorbonne, and worked as a journalist and film critic. It was there that her interest in Third World Cinema evolved, with a focus in examining the role of Arab women in Revolutions. She has made films in Oman, Vietnam, and the struggle of the Palestine people. Her first film, ‘Bread of Our Mountains’ (1968) was lost during the Lebanese Civil War. In 1974, her film Saat El Tahrir Dakkator ‘The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived’ was selected to compete at the Cannes Film Festival, making Srour the first Arab woman to have a film selected for the international festival. 

Srour believes that Arab society oppressed women and kept them in a subordinate role, which prevented them from opportunities to create art. Srour advocated for women's rights through her films, her writing, and by funding other filmmakers.Srour has been vocal about the position of women in Arab society, and in 1978, along with Tunisian director Salma Baccar and Arab cinema historian Magda Wassef, she announced a new assistance fund "for the self-expression of women in cinema."


Thu \\ Sept 5, 2019 \\ 18:00 – 22:00

‘The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived’ is the first film by an Arab female filmmaker from the Third World to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. This topical film tells an important story, the brightest page in the History of the Arab-Muslim World. The former Liberated Area of Dhofar in the Sultanate of Oman undertook an extraordinary experiment in social egalitarianism and total secularism.

 The Popular Front of the Occupied Arab Gulf liberated women beforeachieving victory, unlike other liberation movements that used the energy of women to move quickly, and once in power returned them to their past oppression. The Front rejected the fame of token women, and undertook massive grassroots action among men, women, and children on the issue of women’s liberation. The backbone of the Liberated Zone is the People's Liberation Army, men and women who barefoot, without rank nor salary, freed a third of the territory while building the country’s first road, first hospital, pilot farm, waterhole, and a school where children learned self-management and democracy. All this was done in close collaboration with the People’s Militia, the second armed wing of the Front. This film documents the blue print and transition from oppression to a free and dignified society.

This film is the only visual documentation of the uprising the war crimes of British Army in Oman,inside the Liberated Area of Dhofar. In another first in the history of World Cinema, the director and her teamwalked 800 km of desert and mountains, under Royal Air Force bombardment to reach the Red Line combat zone. For the first time in Arab Cinema, the voiceless were able to speak thanks to synch sound. A solar battery was used to power the camera an innovation of cameraman Michel Humeau. This technique, used only by NASA at the time, was dangerous because this mirror attracted bombardments by the RAF. This was also the first time, the only time to date, that a film tells the whole truth about Arab oil, a key factor in so much of what happens in the Middle East.

Duration \\ 1 hr 2 m

© Heiny Srour 

Producer, Author, Director, Editor \\ Heiny SROUR

Cinematography \\ Michel HUMEAU

Sound \\ Jean-Louis UGHETTO

Assistant Director and Camera \\ Is’hack Ibrahim SOULEILY

Commentary \\ Youssef Salman YOUSSE

International Distribution 

Production \\ LEBANON, ENGLAND, FRANCE 1971-74.



Doors open at 18:00

Film Screening begins at sharp 19:00

Public Lecture starts at 20:30

Light dinner will be served at the event.


Museum of Impossible Forms is a cultural space, located in Kontula, Helsinki. It is a contested Space and it represents a contact zone, a space of unlearning, formulating identity constructs, norm-critical consciousness and critical thinking. Impossible Forms are those that erase and facilitate the process of transgressing the boundaries/borders between art, politics, practice, theory, the artist and the spectator. For 2019-2020, the Museum operates under the curatorial theme of ‘The Atlas of Lost Beliefs (For Insurgents, Citizens and Untitled Bodies)’

Museum of Impossible Formsis a safer space. It follows safer space policies to create a welcoming, inclusive, awesome environment.

Events at the Museum of Impossible Forms are completely free and accessible without prior booking.

Museum of Impossible Forms is accessible by lift with thresholds up to 4cm on the way. The toilet has no thresholds but is not spacious enough to meet accessibility standards. The nearest accessible toilet is located at Kontula metro station.

For directions, please refer to this Map.