2017 Film, Film, Foreign Language Film

Bar Bahar (In Between) – The need to unite in choice


In Between tells three separate stories that unite in living space, in friendship, and in choice. For me, the ultimate question of the film is this: when you have the opportunity to exercise choice for yourself, do you support others in pursuing the same? If so, how? If not, why not? This is a question that writer/director Maysaloun Hamoud, in this glorious feature film debut, explores beyond her three main characters—Laila (Mouna Hawa), Salma (Sana Jammelieh), and Nour (Shaden Kanboura)—three women who are different yet the same in their day-to-day decision to take risks to embrace the freedom to choose how they live, something that should not be a risk but is one due to gender ideologies that exist to stifle their every move and thought. But in this film, the men, too, have to face the question of choice and cannot ignore  their conscious and unconscious suffocation of women. In Between shows that there is no one-sided notion of choice and that freedom cannot exist where that fantasy resides.