UNA-NY Screening the Issues

The Trials of Spring

Please join us for this exclusive NYC screening
followed by a Q+A with

Executive Producer & Director

Star of the film The Trials of Spring



Friday | October 30, 2015

6:00 - 6:15 p.m. | Registration
6:15 - 7:30 p.m. | Screening
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. | Q+A

Dolby 88 Screening Room
1350 Avenue of the Americas (at West 55th Street)
Lobby Level
New York, NY 10019


In a world of revolution,
among those fighting for peace
in a state of war . . .

Do women's voices matter?

THE TRIALS OF SPRING recounts the story of 21-year-old Hend Nafea, who travels from her village to Cairo to add her voice to the hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demanding an end to sixty years of military rule, and is beaten, arrested, and tortured. After her release, she is punished and imprisoned by her family for daring to speak out and shaming their name.

Unbreakable, she sets out in a search for freedom and justice in a country gripped by a dangerous power struggle. Buoyed by the other activists she meets along the way, she forges ahead despite the odds mounting against her.

Hend's story mirrors the trajectory of the Arab Spring—from the ecstasy of newfound courage to the agony of shattered dreams.

Despite crushing setbacks, it is resilience that sustains the hope for reform for Hend and her fellow activists, even during the darkest hours of their struggle for a better Egypt.

"It has been said that the world knows little about its greatest heroes. It knows even less about its heroines," said director Gini Reticker. "With the eruption of the Arab Spring, I watched with enormous curiosity as country after country joined the universal call for bread, freedom and social justice. My past experiences made me curious about the role of women in these extraordinary revolutions. I wasn't surprised to find that they not only participated in the front, but, in many cases, they were pioneers. I wanted to know more about their stories.

"During numerous scouting trips, I met woman after woman who stood in utter contrast to the stereotype of Arab women as oppressed and downtrodden. They challenged widely held assumptions about gender, religion, the veil, and political participation of women in the Arab world. In making TRIALS OF SPRING, I have come to learn that Arab women are more than powerful agents of change in their own communities. In a region gridlocked between religious and military conflict, women do not need saving; women are the saviors. They just might be the best answer to the violent radicalism that plagues the region and inspires fear and prejudice around the world."

Please join us for this exclusive NYC screening of THE TRIALS OF SPRING, which had a sold-out world premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival this summer. It will be followed by a Q+A with two guests: GINI RETICKER, the film's award-winning director and producer, and HEND NAFEA, the young Egyptian woman who is the subject of this exceptional and stirring film.

Gini Reticker has been directing and producing award-winning independent documentary films for over 20 years.

Reticker's first film The Heart of the Matter (1994), a groundbreaking film about women and AIDS, won the Sundance Freedom of Expression Award. She directed Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008), the inspiring story of Liberian women whose actions helped bring an end to a brutal civil war. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award, and was also a past highlight of our Screening the Issues film-talk series.

She produced the Academy Award-nominated short Asylum (2003) the story of a Ghanaian woman who fled female genital mutilation to seek political asylum in the U.S. That year she also produced A Decade Under the Influence, which looks at the heyday of 1970s filmmakers; it was nominated for an Emmy, and garnered the National Review Board Award for Best Documentary. She received an Emmy for Ladies First (2004), the story of women rebuilding post-genocide Rwanda.

She was a creator and executive producer of the PBS series Women, War & Peace (2011), recipient of the Overseas Press Club's Edward R. Murrow Award as well as The Academy of Television Honors Award.

Reticker has also co-produced or executive-produced such notable films as The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), which was nominated for both an Academy Award and an Independent Spirit Award; 1971, Alias Ruby Blade, Citizen Koch, Hot Girls Wanted, and She's Beautiful When She's Angry.


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Only UNA-NY Members have guaranteed admission to all our Screening the Issues film events, and attend for free or pay the discounted Members' admission, while Student Members attend most events for free. While we do offer a pay-at-the-door policy for guests and non-members, our events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY to guarantee your seats! Why not take advantage?