With intergenerational encounters as a core, this program looks at how queer and non-queer protagonists navigate their differences across age, heritage and core values in a changing society. Diasporic and indigenous perspectives on family tensions are explored, all the while sharing stories, laughter, tears, and wishes for a better queer future.
Length: 86 min
Sitt el Beit (The Lady of The House)
““Sitt el Beit” is a film starring Lebanese Drag artist Anya Kneez who plays the role of a Lebanese mother cooking at home for her family. The film takes place in the early 90s and takes inspiration from Anya’s own home videos from her childhood. Anya was raised in California in a very tight knit Lebanese family. She remembers her parents filming every occasion and would send VHS tapes to Beirut in a way to stay in contact with their family back home. As a child of immigrants, Anya wanted to portray how families in the diaspora long to be reunited with their family back home. This film is a tribute to all Arab Mothers to “Sitt el Beit” which means lady of the house.
The film premiered at the Institute Du Monde Arabe in Paris as a part of an exhibition entitled “Arab Divas”. Anya chose to honor one of the greatest Arab divas; Fairuz. For many people in the Arab world Fairuz’s voice has always been and always will be a beacon of hope.
Anya chose to recreate a traditional Arab family gathering all inspired by her childhood memories. However she chose to film it with her own Queer family in Brooklyn. This was a strategic choice to showcase the different meanings behind the word “family”. Anya left Lebanon in 2019 and has felt homesick ever since, so finding fellow Arab queers in New York was very necessary for her. She wanted to show the importance of chosen family.
A tribute to our Arab families.
A tribute to our Queer families.
A tribute to our Arab mothers and grandmothers.
A tribute to every person who has felt the bitter taste of immigration.
A tribute to every person who has cried in their mother’s arms at the airport.
A tribute to the Arab Diva that always makes me miss home.
A tribute to Fairuz.
Filmed in May 2021 in Brooklyn, New York.
Released on June 13th 2021 as a part of Institut Du Monde Arabe’s exhibition “Arab Divas”.
For Mít, a gender fluid person, life between two worlds is nothing new. Against the expectations of grandmother Roan and mother Mai, Mít is seeing Lara. But before Mít has the courage to separate from the family, Roan is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. For Mít, a part of the familiar world threatens to break away. If Roan forgets, then memories of the distant homeland of Vietnam also fade. Mít has to search for the connection between the two identities believed to be incompatible.