Ahmad Alyaseer’s OUR MALES AND FEMALES Sets Sights on the OSCARS®: An Emotionally Charged Story of Gender Identity and Grief in the Middle East
By Oliver Carnay
Award-winning director Ahmad Alyaseer’s latest film, OUR MALES AND FEMALES, is a story of the harrowing injustice faced by a deceased transgender woman in the Middle East as her family grapples with the task of washing the body and coming to terms with their “son’s” new identity. The short, a powerful exploration of the complexities of gender identity, grief and religion, has not only captivated audiences worldwide but has also just secured its place as a strong contender for the 2024 Academy Awards®.
A father and mother are faced with the painful task of washing and shrouding their deceased transgender daughter. When no one agrees to wash her, how far is the father willing to go to make sure his “son” is washed?
The film has so far garnered widespread attention and acclaim during its impressive festival run, participating in more than 90 film festivals across the globe and being screened in over 35 countries. Nonetheless, the film still faces challenges in its home region, the Middle East, where censorship issues have prevented its screening, underscoring the critical nature of the themes explored in OUR MALES AND FEMALES.
Ahmad Alyaseer, an award-winning writer and director from Jordan, masterfully weaved this gripping narrative that continues to spark conversations about gender identity and acceptance. “I want to make films that are bold, spark debate and challenge stereotypes, allowing audiences to think about issues they may not have considered before and shed light on certain taboos in their culture, in hopes of fostering empathy and tolerance.” Alyaseer is currently developing two feature films, including one based on OUR MALES AND FEMALES, promising more impactful narratives in the future.
With its recent qualification for the 2024 Academy Awards®, OUR MALES AND FEMALES is poised to reach new heights and remains a testament to the power of cinema and storytelling.