From a scrappy, vacant-lot training site in Alexandria, Egypt to the Olympic Games, 14-year-old Zebiba (“raisin” in Arabic) stands at the precipice between childhood and weightlifting champion – guided only by her dedicated yet relentless coach, Captain Ramadan, and her own competitive edge. Can she make the leap?
At the corner of downtown Alexandria, Egypt, there is an outdoor barbed wire gym. This humble gym is the place where the coach Captain Ramadan trained his daughter Nahla Ramadan, Egypt’s first women weightlifting world champion (2003), as well as Abeer Abdel Rahman, the first female Olympic medalist in Egypt weightlift history. Lift like a Girl is about a chatty, goal-oriented, but affectionate Captain and girls are lifting weights to be future weightlifter champions. The antagonistic relationship between 14-year-old girl Zebiba and her coach Captain who believes in her is very interesting as they sometimes have wars of nerves. Egyptian director Mayye Zayed expressed a hope this film will get rid of prejudice against Middle Eastern women. Strongly recommend watching until the end to meet a touching scene. (MOON Seok)
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