Tahani Rached left her hometown of Cairo, Egypt in 1966 to study at Montreal’s École des Beaux Arts. Initially studying to be a painter, Rached transferred to the medium of film after becoming involved in Quebec working class struggles as a community activist. Filmmaking would become the ideal medium for marrying her two passions together (1), as revealed in her renowned documentary feature Au Chic Resto Pop (1991, 85 min). Both before and during her time at the NFB, she produced an impressive variety of feminist short films and documentaries that exposed the injustices of other parts of the world such as: Haïti Québec (1986, 59min) and Four Women of Egypt (1997, 86min). Her most notable work next to Chic Resto Pop is arguably Médecins de Coeur (Doctors with Heart 1993, 112min), which became a canonical film in queer networks, despite her not being queer (2). The feature focuses on a group of altruistic doctors who embark on a fight against the HIV/AIDS crisis at the height of the epidemic, and the relationship they maintain with HIV positive patients. Soraida Women of Palestine (2004, 119min) was her last feature before leaving the NFB to move back to Egypt. Her last film, Giran (Neighbors 2009, 105min), a film about class struggles and imperialism in Egypt, marks her last feature documentary before her apparent retirement from filmmaking (3).
(1)"Tahani-Rached." Playlist. Accessed November 13, 2015. https://www.nfb.ca/playlist/tahani-rached.
(2) Rached, Tahani. "Carte Blanche à Tahani Rached." Séquences : La Revue De Cinéma, no. 176 (1995): P.19.
(3) Portis, Larry. "Tahani Rached's "Giran" (Neighbors)." Divergence, Revue Libertaire Internationale En Ligne. January 11, 2011. Accessed November 11, 2015. http://divergences.be/spip.php?article2337&lang=fr.