Unlike many stories we come across here at It’s Nice That, Sarra’s love for film didn’t start in childhood. “I was never a cinephile and I never imagined myself as a director,” she admits. “I only liked gangster movies that I watched with passion as a teenager.” But, Sarra has always been invested in the arts, doing theater for 10 years, taking dance lessons, studying art history and loving to write – she even had a stint as a stand-up comedian. It wasn’t until one of Sarra’s film history classes that her passion really began, a fact that she jokes made her a “living cliche.” It was his encounter with the French New Wave movement that kick-started his love of the arts, closely followed by legendary Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. After immersing herself in the work of the arthouse greats, Sarra says she instinctively knew she had to make movies, enrolling in a film production degree and working in film ever since.
Rightly so, it was one of the greatest pioneers of the French New Wave, Agnès Varda, who aesthetically inspired There is no time for a woman. Obsessed with colors “to the point that there are always too many”, Sarra draws inspiration from the colors of Varda’s latest color films. Influenced by the film’s opening, Sarra wanted to recreate the “vintage” vibe of films from the 60s and 70s. Giving the film a beautiful cinematic quality, the grainy effect exudes an intimate and welcoming feel, inviting viewers into its warm interior. “I love that just because of the way it’s shot, some people think it’s fiction,” Sarra says.
Reflecting on the project and its overwhelmingly positive reception, Sarra points out that her main intention was to deconstruct certain stereotypes about Arab women, which she hopes she has achieved. “I think we are in a time where hope is a feeling that becomes difficult”, she concludes, “these women show so much resilience, hope and joy that I wanted to communicate their strength. “