Basima Hajjar in Dystopian Feminist Parable ‘Scales’ Official Trailer
by Alex Billington
June 24, 2021
“Girls like you belong to the Sea Maiden.” Variance Films has released a new official US trailer for a Saudi Arabian film titled Scales, which originally premiered back at the 2019 Venice Film Festival in the Critics’ Week sidebar section. It picked up a few awards and also toured around through other festivals all over the world. Written & directed by Shahad Ameen, Scales was also Saudi Arabia’s official submission to the 93rd Oscars earlier this year. Set in a dystopian landscape, Scales is the story of a young strong-willed girl, Hayat, who lives in a poor fishing village governed by a dark tradition in which every family must give one daughter to the sea creatures who inhabit the waters nearby. Saved from this fate by her father, Hayat is considered a curse on the village and grows up an outcast. Nevertheless, she does not surrender to this fate and fights for a place within her village. Starring Basima Hajjar as Hayat. This looks like an incredibly unique creation.
Here’s the official US trailer (+ two posters) for Shahad Ameen’s Scales, direct from Variance’s YouTube:
Scales is a visually stunning feminist parable set in a dystopian landscape. It follows the story of a strong-willed young girl, Hayat (Basima Hajjar), whose poor fishing village is governed by the dark tradition: every family must give one daughter to the mermaid-like sea creatures who inhabit the waters, to ensure the village can continue their fishing expeditions. When Hayat’s father refuses, the girl becomes a pariah, considered a curse by the village and urged to sacrifice herself – but Hayat also has her own plans for her destiny. Scales is both written & directed by Saudi Arabian filmmaker Shahad Ameen, making her second feature film after directing Leila’s Window previously. This originally premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival in the Critics’ Week sidebar, where it won the Verona Film Club Award. Variance Films will release Ameen’s Scales in select US theaters (NY & LA) starting on July 9th, 2021 this summer. Who’s interested?