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Courage is an experimental short film comprised of eight (8) acts in poetic form written by Dayna Ash, tackling, identity, freedom, and queer being in the Middle East, where the dominating discourse aims to dim and erase their existence. The "closet" is portrayed as a labyrinth of societal norms and traditions that bodies must navigate to survive, rendering coming out and the spectrum in-between as equally courageous acts The production of such a film in the Middle East, by Lebanese artists and queers, is in-and-of-itself an act of resistance. With the social and systemic persecution of LGBTQI individuals, the variables of coming out are not simply based on the acceptance of the family and friends; but are accompanied by fear of intolerance and violence manifested through formal authorities and informal traditional norms. The dominating discourse is one that promotes coming out of the closet as the desired goal for LGTBQI individuals, to the exclusion of those, who through a courageous act themselves, do not come out. Their life is not framed by the reality of a closet, instead, they use other cultural frameworks to construct their queer reality. Courage engages with what it means to live a queer existence in the Middle East.

Director Biography - Malak Mroueh Born in Nabatieh, South of Lebanon, Malak Mroueh is a Lebanese director and scriptwriter. In 2018 she graduated from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) with a short film Rupture Divine about a young woman going through electroshock conversion therapy. Malak Mroueh has directed several short films around the themes of women’s sexuality, queer bodies and violence.


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