The Burdened

Al Murhaqoon

64th TIFF: Greek Premiere
A feature film from Yemen is a great rarity. Here, director Amr Gamal has chosen to fictionalize a real-life story that occurred within his circle of friends, with immense sensitivity and a genuine empathetic touch. Isra’a lives with her husband Ahmed and their three children in the old port city of Aden in southern Yemen. Their everyday lives are shaped by the civil war – which means military checks in the streets, frequent power cuts, and having to haul water from the street to the kitchen. Ahmed used to work for television, but after several salary cheques were not paid, he is now earning his money as a driver. When Isra’a unexpectedly becomes pregnant, the couple faces a crisis. They both know they cannot afford a fourth child: they are about to move to a cheaper flat and the children’s school fees are due. Together they decide on an abortion. An odyssey begins in which a doctor friend becomes a key figure. Set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most devastating civil wars, this sensitive family drama provides us with a glimpse into the society of a country largely unknown beyond its borders.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Available at the Agora Market TIFF64.

Direction: Amr Gamal
Script: Mazen Refaat, Amr Gamal
Cinematography: Mrinal Desai
Editing: Heba Othman
Sound: Rana Eid
Music: Ming-chang Chen
Actors: Khaled Hamdan, Abeer Mohammed, Samah Alamrani
Production: Adenium Productions
Producers: Mohsen Alkhalifi, Amr Gamal
Co-production: Station Films, Red Sea International Film Festival
Co-producers: Amjad Abu Alala, Mohammed Alomda
Production Design: Fahed Shuraih
Make Up: Shahd Algonfedy
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Production Country: Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia
Production Year: 2023
Duration: 91'
Contact: Films Boutique
Awards/Distinctions: Amnesty International Film Prize – Berlin IFF 2023, International New Talent Competition Special Jury Prize – Taipei FF 2023, Jury Prize Best Directing, Best Script (Cinema Jove) – Valencia IFF 2023, Best Screenplay (International Competition) – Durban IFF 2023

Amr Gamal

Amr Gamal (1983, Poland) is an independent Yemeni film and theater director. In 2003, he received the President’s Award in playwriting. In 2005, Gamal established Khaleej Aden Theatre Troupe. He has written and directed all the theater productions by the Troupe since 2005. His play Ma'k Nazel became the first Yemeni play to be performed in Europe (Berlin) after its big success in Yemen. In spring 2018, production began for his first feature film 10 Days Before the Wedding, the film premiered in Aden during that summer, becoming the first film to open commercially in Yemen in the last three decades. The film continued to be screened for over eight months and became Yemen’s official submission to the Oscar in 2018. Amr Gamal lives and works in Aden, Yemen.


2012 The Locked Doors (short)
2013 Women Unchained (short)
2018 10 Days Before the Wedding
2023 The Burdened