The Poetess

The Poetess


The Saudi poetess Hissa Hilal made headlines around the world as the first woman to ever make it to the finals of “Million’s Poet”, an Abu-Dhabi based Million Dollar reality television show. It is the Arab world’s biggest poetry competition, and it is dominated by men. In her poems Hissa criticizes the patriarchal Arab society and she attacks one of the most notorious Saudi clerics for his extremist fatwas, live, in front of 75 million viewers.

Hissa Hilal is the voice from behind the veil: Her word is her weapon. We’ll never see Hissa’s face. Like the majority of Saudi women, Hissa is covered from head to toe. She is not allowed to drive a car. She doesn’t own a passport. And she requires consent from her husband for any sort of activity. But then, coming out of nowhere, Hissa is suddenly breaking news in the biggest Western and Arab media. How did she gain the knowledge and the courage to step on stage and risk her life?


Tagesanzeiger  Daily Newspaper (Swiss/German)

Interview with Hissa | Published in Der Bund


Directed by Stefanie Brockhaus, Andreas Wolff
Produced by  Andreas Wolff
Commissioning Editors Claudia Tronnier, ZDF/Das Kleine Fernsehspiel Lucas Schmidt, ZDF/Das Kleine Fernsehspiel Kathrin Brinkmann, ZDF/ARTE
Cinematography Tobias Tempel, Stefanie Brockhaus
Film Editing Hansjörg Weissbrich,  Anja Pohl
Music Sebastian Zenke
Sound Design Christoph von Schönburg
Re-Recording Mixer Michael Hinreiner
Associate Producer Amr Alkahtani
Faculty Advisor HFF Prof. Heiner Stadler
Sales Cat & Docs


Int. Film Festival Milan, Int. Film Festival Ronda, Int. Documentary Festival Camden, DOK Fest Munich


Dok Leipzig, Idfa Best of Fests, Mostra Sao Paulo, Dubai Film Festival, HRFF Zürich, HRFF London, CPH:DOX Copenhagen, DocPoint Helsinki, All About Freedom Poland, DokAviv Israel, OneWorld Prague, Sydney Film Festival among others.


Mirjam Wiekenkamp & Dagny Kleber
+49 30 41723030