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By Alan Ng | June 5, 2024

In Kum-Kum, filmmaker Dur Jamjoom explores how traumatic events can subtly change our behavior in ways that are unseen. Four teens are taking a lazy day along the Saudi Arabian seashore. Aliyah is a newcomer to the group, and her friend, Salwa, teaches her the game of Kum-Kum. Later, the quartet wraps the day up with some late afternoon kayaking. Aliyah is the last to hit the water.

As Salwa is taking a nap in her kayak, her friends are screaming at her. Aliyah is drowning, and Salwa is the only one close enough to rescue her. Just as Salwa awakens, it is too late.

“Aliyah is drowning, and Salwa is the only one close enough to rescue her.”

With this tragic set-up, writer/director Jamjoom focuses on Salwa. Though no one blames her for the accident, Salwa is paralyzed to do anything. She carries much of the burden for the incident, yet no one else can see that. Jamjoom then jumps ahead several years as Salwa is now older with a daughter of her own, Aliyah.

Kum-Kum focuses on how trauma impacts a young woman’s life…well beyond the teen years. Trauma doesn’t always have to be extremely debilitating to have a significant effect. This film presents a simple story and features strong performances from the cast. Overall, the short film effectively communicates its message in a subtle way.

Kum-Kum (2024)

Directed and Written: Dur Jamjoom

Starring: Dana Al Kadhi, Nada Basaad, Waad Shaat, Raneem Khalifa, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Kum-Kum Image

"…how trauma impacts a young woman's life...well beyond the teen years."

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