legal and social thriller • all audiences01h40 • English subtitles

Soumaya is an executive in a transport company. She has been employed for fourteen years, but she learns overnight that she has been fired, and finds out the same evening on television the reasons for her dismissal. She then decides to exercise a very special right of reply...

Sober and effective, the film by Waheed Khan and Ubaydah Abu-Usayd depicts the abusive dismissal of Muslims after the 2015 attacks and the establishment of the state of emergency. (...)

In a real gradually transformed into fiction, Soumaya and other characters (his lawyers and relatives) struggle not to give in to delirium and maintain, including in themselves, the minimum of truth and honesty still capable of fighting it.

read more (in French)

Revolt in the face of injustice and mediocrity of thought, generosity of message (here around dignity), lucidity about societal issues (freedom of belief, racism), bias for the "victims" whose finale masterfully reveals that they are not the ones we think...

(...) on the cinematographic level, the shots, the framing, the editing intelligently associating sequences that are far away in space, are a pure marvel.

read more (in French)

An uncompromising, courageous, honest and committed film that puts the finger from the very first seconds on the failure of French integration and the brutality of a judicial system that is wrapped up behind security intentions.

(...) One cannot deny the courage of the two directors to tackle such a sensitive subject in a first feature film. The courage comes above all from making a film without the slightest institutional support, off the traditional beaten track.

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Soumaya opens with a search of the apartment of a woman who lives alone with her daughter in the Paris suburbs.

(...) The sensitive debates opened by the introduction of the state of emergency, in the aftermath of the attacks of November 2015, appear here in all their complexity.

(...)Soumaya is forcefully interpreted by Soraya Hachoumi.

read more (in French)

they talk about soumaya (in french)

they have seen the movie

Just... it is a just movie, which gives justice and a voice to a part of the population that the media constantly talks about but never gives a voice to the main people concerned. This film gives an angle that we are not used to having.

Aïdou B.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the film, it deals with reality without adding or minimizing it as is usually the case. Thank you for this beautiful film, and I hope you will produce more.

Peach A.

This movie is great. It's in my top ten. It tackles a super sensitive subject in France in a human and touching way with a touch of humor. When I left the theater I felt serene.

Anaïs D.

A beautiful film about a strong and courageous woman who will fight for her rights. The film, made with few means, is however of excellent quality, and brings a lot of emotions.

Meriem Y.
Farouk Benalleg
as shaykh Hisham
Soraya Hachoumi
as Soumaya
Sonya Mellah
as Mariam Imany
Khalid Berkouz
as Kais Seddiki
Majida Ghomari
as Djamila
Assia Ait-Abdelmalek
as Jihane
Islem Sehili
as Sinan
Atika Taoualit
as Pauline
Karine Dogliani
as Séverine Gouget
Benjamin De Amaral
as Fabrice Veron
Sarah Perriez
as Aurélie
Hicham Ismaïli
as Bashir
Julien Lheureux
as Jérôme
Abderrahim Massin Ihia
as Safwan

to go further

France, 2015. A state of emergency is declared after the attacks of 13 November. The film Soumaya provides a detailed account of one of the searches, and discusses the issues at stake in such measures, which many human rights organizations have considered to be a violation of fundamental freedoms.

In a context where the authorities speak of "weak signals" that every citizen should denounce, the film Soumaya is strikingly topical because it offers a new perspective on these issues and provokes debate while helping to calm the debate.

Of course, Soumaya remains a film, an entertainment; it is cinema, but a social cinema that opens the eyes to realities unknown to many people. In this respect, it also becomes an educational tool, especially for students, teachers, trainers, association leaders and others, who can use it to better observe what happened in France in 2015 and understand the effects on our society today.


Since 2012, the Yaraa team has been organising training courses in audiovisual professions, mainly aimed at young people and people who want to explore the cinematic tool alongside their profession. 

From the idea to the broadcasting, the trainings lead the participants to autonomy, and to consider the cinematographic art otherwise than by the heaviness of its industry, and rather by its artisanal dimension.


Yaraa team members have been working in the audiovisual industry for many years, and have produced and directed a number of independent short films. It is by combining these energies around common projects that they launched their first challenge in 2017: making a feature film with the budget of a short. This is how the film Soumaya was born.


It was first in the organization of short film competitions and festivals that the Yaraa team promoted works that bring new perspectives, especially on current issues (reappropriation of narratives, exile...)

Today, whether for training or the distribution of original content in streaming, Yaraa is working to create a participatory and original digital platform.

For an independent cinema

Today, the average budget for a French film is around €4m. Although this budget is not considered excessive in the film world, it is nevertheless a colossal sum, because it is part of a very heavy industrial machine.

With the Soumaya team and the Yaraa association, after having directed several shorts, we made a bet: is it possible to make a feature film with the same means as a short? Everyone told us it was impossible, so we did it. And we made a self-produced film, with a very low budget (€27,000), independent and free of the financial constraints that could have affected the script and our creative freedom.

After a very special journey, the film managed to get into certain cinemas and today it is available in video on demand, all over the world. #imwatchingsoumaya

Investing in culture to fight discrimination

The legal case recounted in Soumaya was managed by the CCIF, which supported our approach and opened doors for us, giving us access to files as well as research articles that analyzed this political upheaval.

This film aims to open a new look at this moment in French history and tries to participate in the debate through art and culture.

To do this, it is important to develop an artistic and cultural pole in the associations that fight against discrimination, and to act to bring new representations.


to discover also on yaraa

your last walk in the mosque

documentary • all audiences50 minutes

On the evening of January 29, 2017, a lone gunmanentered an Islamic center and opened fire shortly after the end of the evening prayers. Six worshipperswere killed and nineteen others injured. A whole community, a city, an entire country are left in shock. Fourmonths later the survivors of the tragic attack and thefamilies of those who perished deliver the journeyof their grief. What happened inside the mosque onthat day? How did the Muslim community overcomethe consequences of the trauma? How did the growing political acceptance of Islamophobia lead to suchan event? Through the silent eyes of those who witnessed, a fundamental issue is addressed: what doesdeath mean to a believer?


© YARAA 2020

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