Possessed by Djinn

The belief in demons, or “djinn”, is a little-known aspect of Islamic culture. In a subjective investigation of this controversial topic the film follows the true story of Aya, a four-year-old Jordanian girl killed by her father who believed her to be possessed. Investigating this case the director finds herself on a journey in an obscure world of traditions and ritual. Disturbing, yet intriguing encounters along the way, with both djinn exorcists and the possessed, reveal the contradictions of her society and ultimately force her to confront the fears and demons of her own.
According to Islam, the djinn are supernatural creatures that occupy a world parallel to that of humans. Their emergence is often connected with sexuality, political unrest, poverty and mental health issues. This taboo subject remains broadly unresolved in Muslim hearts and minds due to its complex and uncomfortable nature. In this film we uncover the repressed desires and fears still commonly aroused by the topic today.
The sujet calls for an intimate, “undercover” style of camera work and an evocative, dreamlike way of editing, sound and music. It opens an unique insight into the subconsciousness of Arab society.



Country of Production
Germany, Jordan

Year of Production


52 / 75 min

Dalia Al Kury

Lichtblick Film in co-production with Kaynoona Films and ZDF in collaboration with ARTE

Original Language

English, German, French

Festivals / Awards

Hot Docs Toronto 2015
Dok Leipzig 2015
Kassel IFF 2015
Göteborg IFF 2016
Docpoint Helsinki 2016
Docpoint Tallinn 2016
Oslo Arab FF 2016
Women’s FF Salé Morocco 2016
Budapest IDF 2016
Vilnius HRFF 2016