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Talking Europe

Busting taboos, challenging the patriarchy: 2019 Lux cinema Prize winner Teona Strugar Mitevska

Teona Strugar Mitevska
Teona Strugar Mitevska France 24

"How can we build a better future, if we do not dare?" These are the words of Teona Strugar Mitevska, who won the European Parliament's 2019 cinema award, the Lux Prize, for her film "God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya". The Northern Macedonian filmmaker tells FRANCE 24's Catherine Nicholson what inspired her to tell the real-life story of a woman who gatecrashed a religious ritual reserved only for men, and why she believes that free speech is under threat.

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"God Exists, her Name Is Petrunya" shows us the life of the Petrunya - and according to Strugar Mitevska, the real life of thousands of Northern Macedonian women - struggling to make their way in a world where women need to be attractive and married, where academic study is not the key to their advancement, and where centuries-old religious norms clash with 21st Century laws.

Prepared by Isabelle Romero, Perrine Desplats, Mathilde Bénézet and Céline Schmitt

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