Lala Kaper to Arabstoday:

My films will challenge society

GMT 14:55 2012 Monday ,20 August

Arab Today, arab today My films will challenge society

Lala Kaper
Nouakchott - Mohammad Sharif Abeidy

Lala Kaper Nouakchott - Mohammad Sharif Abeidy Lala Kaper the filmmaker of the controversial Mauritanian film "Other Feelings" has told Arabstoday that she will "challenge society and negative views of cinema". "I will make bold films that will touch on subjects some people think are taboo," she said. The director said she will treat various subjects within "a sober and discreet frame work, committed to supreme values, and the preservation of religion, and without getting into Sharia, but rather aims to get past negative habits that eat away at society, and which do not contribute to its progress and development." Kaper added to Arabstoday that her foray into the world of film making came about after writing  on"a lot of social issues, on social networking sites and some newspapers". "I then began thinking of a bold film that addresses an issue in Mauritanian society, which is one of the things that we are silent about," she said. "My first film 'Other Feelings' was one of those ideas. I spoke about the dreams of adolescent girls, and the absence of dialogue in Mauritanian households, the absence of the mother's role which is embodied usually through a strong and underlying relationship her and the girl," added Kaper. She says she has highlighted the "story of the loss of a Mauritanian girl in a false love story, which she was led to by the social repression that she suffered in her parents' house." The film included a clandestine sexual relationship, raising hackles in conservative Mauritanian society. The bold filmmaker also received death threats, and has been described by some as "morally corrupt". The young director however insists that "the issues of girls cannot be solved by suppressing feelings and sensations, but by conversation inside the home." She pointed out that despite the criticism that she faced, which made her family think of forcing her to "leave the cinema field",  she felt that she has achieved "remarkable work", even if it was against society. "My family does not stand in the way of my dreams," she said. Kaper stated: "It is well known that a girl at the age of adolescence is in need of care, and needs someone to listen to he, sympathise with her pain, and lend a ear to what is going on in her mind and soul, which are things Mauritanian homes lack. Because of customs and traditions that generate frustration, we lack all those things. This in turn exposes the girl to serious consequences...some friends from school may be affected by those who offer her enticing dreams, which leads them to crime and unilateral decisions that may harm her, her family and even her surroundings." The candid cinemaphile also said she was preparing for a new film about "cemetery workers", who live off the deaths of others, based on a story written in the local Al-Watan newspaper in Mauritania.  She transformed it into a written script, which is produced by Luxor Festival and directed by "Cameron" and the filmed by "Algeria". The film will be made next October, and is themed on the lives of cemetery workers, and their communities’ fear of them. Their children hide their parents' professions out of embarrassment. On her favourite actors, Kaper said: "I love Egyptian actress Yusra, as a person and as an artist, her acting is fantastic, regardless of her boldness, and the roles she takes on." She also said she aims to work with Khaled Youssef, "because of his distinctive work that is put forward in a bold way". "I wish to act in one of his films, if I do not take off the veil, and do not take on a 'bold' would be an honour to have my name show up in the credits of a Khalid Youssef film," she said. "Mauritania will be on a date with the actress Yusra and director Khaled Youssef, and some other directors on October this year," she added. Kaper also said she was looking forward to the Egyptian cinema festival in Mauritania, and that she had "great hope" that Mauritanian cinema will improve, "if there are people who have charisma and determination, and hopefully if negative social perceptions disappear".

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