Legislated, judged, and regulated in public spaces, schools and even beaches, French Muslim women are spoken about at length but rarely given the opportunity to speak in the mainstream conversation surrounding feminism, laïcité (France’s version of secularism) and Islam – or any other topic for that matter.
Marianne aims to contribute towards the effort to redress this imbalance. It does so with unprecedented access to French Muslim women’s lives from across the country. Seven of these women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, hijabis/non-hijabis, Muslim-born and converts- open up and allow us to see them in all their vibrancy and nuances. A back-to-the land horticulturalist with an inter-racial family, a “mipster" (Muslim hipster) who shaves her head as a protest to the required removal of her scarf at work, an upper class blonde medical student convert, a public school teacher turned. opera singer, a gritty lawyer from the banlieues, a social media influencer, and a once homeless single mother now serving in UK council.
Coming from different walks of life, they challenge the dominant French narrative of a monolithic group, defined by oppression and a backwards worldview. Through their respective journeys and points of views, the film questions the concepts of laïcité,
universal feminism, liberty, and French identity as they have been defined by the mainstream.