Lift Like a Girl

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Lift Like a Girl

Ash ya Captain
Mayye Zayed
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
95 minutes

Captain Ramadan’s “gym” is located in a dusty residential area near the port of Alexandria. This is where the former professional athlete has coached young women in weightlifting for over twenty years – including his daughter Nahla, the first Egyptian world champion. An extraordinarily intimate portrait of this lone and fighter who raised Egypt’s young athletes to world class level with self-funding, which also puts the focus on a second protagonist: young Asmaa.

Mayye Zayed has followed the Captain’s student, who was fourteen at the start, for four years. Wearing a red Popeye t-shirt and backed by her coach, she fights her way to the global top league matches. The story of the inner highs and lows of the introverted young woman unfolds gently as the camera captures her emotional states precisely without many words. The dramaturgy of the chronological narrative follows the events in the best direct cinema manner, impressively adapting to the rhythm of life – and death. The result is the portrait of an unusual relationship and of a harsh environment that demands more than physical strength from the participants.
Borjana Gaković

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Mayye Zayed
Mayye Zayed
Anke Petersen
Anna Bolster
Eva Klöcker
Claudia Tronnier
The Getty Images ARRAY Grant
Arab Fund For Arts & Culture (AFAC)
HotDocs - Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund
International Media Support (IMS)
The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI)
Samir Nabil
Andromeda Film AG
Kristoffer Salting
Brian Dyrby
Sara Abdallah
Mayye Zayed
Mohamad Elhadidi
Marian Mentrup
Winner of Golden Dove (German Competition)
Family Ties
Small Worlds, Big People
Umverteilen und Mitreden
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