Aiten Amin… A director with an eye for humanity

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Nowadays it’s hard to find someone who would give up participating in an independent film contest so as not to remove 20 seconds out of her very successful, yet shocking 10 minutes movie “Her Man”.

Aiten Amin, a talented director who embarked her love for the cinema and humanity with a daring movie called “Her Man”. Based on a novel by Ahdaf Soueif, Aiten was shocked yet sympathized with Zeina, the leading character, who because of her financial dependency on her husband “Sobhi”, Zeina stood helpless in front of his decision to take a second younger wife who is to live with her at the same house. Out of pure jealousy, Zeina had to work a plan to make it seem to Sobhi as if his new wife’s cheating on him, so- and this is the shocking part in the movie- she slept with her leaving a mark on her breast to create the delusion!

 

L: How did you get across Ahdaf Soueif’s short story? And can you generally sympathize with a man’s need to marry another woman? How?

A: I consider myself a good reader and Ahdaf Soueif is one of my favorite writers, she’s a different voice, really authentic. I read “her man” years ago and when I was searching for an idea for my project, I read it again by chance and suddenly I realized that it’s a very good project. I loved it very much the second time, may be because I was more mature so I was able to see it differently.

It’s very hard for a woman to accept the idea of having a rival for her husband, I mean I can understand the jealousy she feels and I sympathize with that, that’s why in her man I never considered zeina – the heroine- a villain of any sort. She was defending her husband and she would do anything for that. As for men I can’t give a general opinion, it’s a case by case thing, but I wouldn’t accept my husband having another woman, I can kill them both!

 

L: In your opinion, which contributes more to the success of a movie, the writer or the director? Why?

A: Well it’s not like that, it’s mutual, I mean you must have a story worth to be told and then you must have a way to tell it visually through acting, the direction, the set up and everything otherwise the story is lost.

 

L:  Being a writer yourself, what’s the difference between writing a story and directing the story?

A: Writing is only you and your imagination, while directing involves many people, you’re leading a big crew to a certain goal which u only know, they’re all working according to your point of view. Directing is giving a new meaning to the script, you’re adding your input, you’re not just shooting a script, you’re creating the feeling, and you make other people see through your eyes. Directing gives a feeling of sharing; I don’t think you can feel this way with any other job.

 

L: Following the success of your short movie, “Her Man”, were you offered similar scripts to direct thus cornering your talent in one zone only?

A: No, actually I was offered different kinds of films, one of which is "I know who she is!” Which was produced by world health organization and had a very sensitive issue, the central character was a man suffering from loneliness and taking care of his wife who’s suffering from Alzheimer and that was a totally different sad story.

 

L:  As a woman, what do you think is the reason behind all the harassments women are being subjected to? And what do you think the solution is?

A: Frustration!!!!we’re a very frustrated community and we have problems almost in every aspect of our lives which led to violence and aggressive actions towards each other and I don’t think it’s only women suffering ,we’re all suffering

 

L: Do you think that the wrong idea perceived about women being sources of physical pleasure descends from us living in a male society or is it also partially a woman’s fault? Why?

A: You know women in our society have big problems and I can’t put all the blame on men, we abuse ourselves sometimes and sometimes some women happen to be very cruel to each other. "keid el nesa" that was partly the idea in her man she took her revenge from her rival -the little girl- to get her man back.

 

 

       L: Since you’ve decided on “Her Man” story, what obstacles got in your

       way?

A:  It was the first time for me to direct, I was very nervous about that especially that I didn’t want to spoil it. I was a little bit hesitating because it was daring but I decided to do it anyway, I loved it too much.

 

L: There’s no doubt that the movie came in as a shocker to everyone, but what was your first reaction when you read the story?

A: Shocked! I couldn’t believe that someone would go this far to defend her man but it was very human, I couldn’t help it, I was attracted to the story.

 

L: I’m very curious to learn about your personality, because from where I stand I see you as a very brave and defining person….

A: I don’t feel brave or anything, I have my insecurities but I believe in the quote that says ‘"feel the fear and do it anyway".  I don’t know if I’m talented I just know I’m a hard worker.

 

L:  Do you perceive such story published in foreign countries degrading for Egyptian women or not?

A: Of course not, I believe we should be honest about everything, that’s the first step to acknowledge our problems

 

       L: What other projects you’re currently working on?

A: I’m working on two projects 2 short films, preparing and re-writing. I hope to do them soon.

 

 L: I know that low-budget movies allow you the space to discuss whichever you want, but aren’t you aspiring to work for the silver screen?

A: Of course I am, but what I want the most is to make films I love wherever they are.

 

 L: Who are your favorite director, actor, and actress?

A: Mohamed Khan, Ahmed zaki and Soad Hosny.

 

 

L: What other issues that you’d like to tackle in your coming work?

A: Anything concerning humans, their problems, their pain, their love, their joy, I’m always drawn to characters and I love people with all their defects.

 

L: What was the best and worst review written in regards to “Her Man”?

A: The best was from Mohamed khan who said it’s an important trial in digital, it meant a lot to me. Worst I don’t remember anymore I rather think ahead, my next project is my concern now.

 

 

 

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