Palestinian designs to be featured in film Mary Magdalene

The film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara will showcase embroidered works by Palestinian refugee women in Jordan
Rooney Mara.
By Lubna Hamdan
Mon 05 Feb 2018 10:34 AM

Hand-embroidered accessories created by Palestinian refugee women in the Jerash camp in Jordan will be featured in the Universal Pictures’ film “Mary Magdalene,” which stars Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara.

The creations were made by 27 craftswomen who are a part of SEP Jordan, an organisation that empowers Palestinian refugee women by providing them with work opportunities.

“We are so honoured to see the work of these 27 SEP artists being featured in this movie, which is a rendition of a story that took place in the land where their own ancestors lived,” said founder Roberta Ventura.

The Hollywood film tells the story Mary Magdalene, known as one of Jesus’ most important followers and a witness to his crucifixion and resurrection.

Movie costume designer Jacqueline Durran said it was an “incredibly rewarding experience” working with the team of artists at SEP.

“Their talent far surpassed my expectations… The result of each woman’s unique creativity and skill had an incredible subtlety and beauty,” she said.

Durran, who is an Academy Award Winner designer, said the women’s work was a key part in the creation of the film’s ancient world scenes.

SEP started in 2013 with 10 women under the motto “Every Stitch Tells a Story.” So far, it has helped 300 women gain income and improve their living conditions.

Ventura said the organisation is looking to disrupt the ‘pity purchase’, stressing that all SEP artists are trained at the SEP-Tamari Academy at the camp, where they learn technique details that date back to the 1800’s, the golden years of Palestinian embroidery.

Mary Magdalene will reportedly be released in March 16 this year.

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Last Updated: Tue 06 Feb 2018 05:39 PM GST

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