Where do we draw the line between love and devotion? An intimate and haunting portrayal of a quest for love and acceptance at any cost, Q depicts the insidious influence of a secretive matriarchal religious order in Lebanon on three generations of women in the Chehab family. First-time filmmaker Jude Chehab potently documents the unspoken ties and consequences of loyalty that have bonded her mother, Hiba, grandmother, and herself to the mysterious organization. When she’s not teaching the Quran to students or taking part in poetry readings with peers, Hiba strictly obeys the detailed writings of the Anisa (the leader of the order) who instills in her followers the need to closely observe and practice full days of prayer. A masterful portrait of the toll that decades of unrequited love, lost hope, abuse, and despair takes on a person, Q is a multigenerational tale of the eternal search for meaning. A love story of a different kind, the film delicately portrays the complexities of the unseen power that intermesh the lives of those who love a woman whose heart is in the hands of someone else. Director Jude Chehab stops by to talk about her personal journey with Qubaysiat, engaging in an extended cinematic conversation with her family about the influence the group has had on them, particularly her mother, and what being a part of the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival means for Q and her own artistic trajectory.
About the filmmaker – Jude Chehab is a Lebanese-American filmmaker based between New York and Beirut. Her cinematic interests have drawn Jude to the exploration of the esoteric, the spiritual and the unspoken. A richly layered visual and intimate personal shooting style developed under the mentorship of Abbas Kiarostami’s final student group; Jude has been credited in collaborations with the BBC, Refinery29, Oxfam GB, and Doctors Without Borders. She has worked as a DP internationally, on films in Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan and was an AP on Sesame Street’s Ahlan Simsim. Her work has been awarded fellowships through: CAAM, BGDM, NeXtDoc, Points North Institute, Firelight Media, Close-Up and Chicken and Egg. Jude’s first feature documentary has been supported by: IDA, ITVS, TFI, and Sundance. In 2021, Filmmaker Magazine named her one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film.
About the subject – Hiba Khodr is an Associate professor at the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and has served as the department Chair. Currently, she is a visiting Associate Professor at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Apart from academia, she is the founder of Al Makan, a cultural center in the heart of Beirut that reflects a long-term endeavor to create a much-needed new cultural dynamic in the region. It is a community hub which promotes the mission to foster a safe and stimulating space for the nourishment of one’s creativity, intellect, curiosity and spirituality.