The Virgin Diaries

Jessica Woodworth

B/USA/D/NL/FIN/MOR, 2002, 56 min

Fatiha, a deeply religious, young and modern Moroccan woman of 28, is to be married off to a man whom her grandfather has chosen for her. The fiancé kisses her hand but later regrets this gesture, believing he has committed a sin in the eyes of Islam. Concerned about his reaction and worrying about how to live a life without transgressing the laws of Islam if she doesn’t even know what is permitted and what is not, Fatiha decides to search for answers.

Fatiha and her American filmmaker friend, Jessica Woodworth, embark on a research trip about sexuality that takes them to religious schools in remote areas of Morocco. Fatiha approaches religious teachers and asks questions on virginity but gets only vague answers. (She learns that the repair of the hymen is one of the most common minor operations in Morocco).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4N9pnpcR-8

The two young women represent two diametrically opposite cultures and views of sexuality, one almost pitying the other for not having had a religious upbringing and the other trying to defend her liberal, secular view of the world. But in spite of this, they are great friends who respect each other.

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