Italian multi-hyphenate Ilaria Borrelli’s Arabic-language feminist drama “The Goat” – featuring Mira Sorvino and John Savage, alongside a stellar Egyptian cast – is set for back-to-back launches at Egypt’s upcoming El Gouna Film Festival, followed by the closing film slot at the Rome Film Festival.
A rare, if not unique, case of an Arab production directed by an Italian, “The Goat” stars young Egyptian TikTok star Jessica Hosam as an 11-year-old pregnant orphan named Hadya who after being forced into marriage becomes the target of a western corporation that seeks to control the only water source in her village. She escapes into the desert with her goat on a journey in search of her father. See trailer above
“She takes the road to freedom alone with her goat whose milk she will use to survive. Sometimes when she drinks the milk she feels her mum is talking to her,” according to the film’s provided logline.
This film aims to question “‘civilised western countries’ – and all of us who live in them – about our role in the appropriation of the natural resources of poorer countries,” Borrelli said in a statement.
“The Goat” also shines a spotlight “On barbaric traditions still practiced in so many areas of the world that devastate the young women and girls in these communities, such as marriage by abduction, gang rape, deadly childbirth conditions and obstetric fistula,” she went on to note.
Borrelli is a Paris-based Italian actress and director who studied at NYU and previously directed the comedy “Our Italian Husband” with Pierfrancesco Favino and Brooke Shields and “The Girl From the Brothel,” a drama about a French woman who risks her life to rescue three young girls from a Cambodian brothel.
Savage plays the CEO of a U.S. multinational company that wants to take over the village’s spring to produce fancy bottled mineral water; Sorvino plays the company’s engineer; Egyptian star Amr Saad plays Hadya’s father.
“The Goat,” which is written and directed by Borrelli, is a co-production between Egypt’s Agora Media Production and France’s Domedo Productions in collaboration with Italy’s Orange Media and producer Oscar Generale, plus Lebanon’s Cedars Art Production (Sabbah Brothers) and U.S. company Pantheon Entertainment, and with support from Italy’s culture ministry.