Jude, a Lebanese-American cinematographer and filmmaker, has always known her mother Hiba to be a woman devoted to her Muslim faith. After growing up in a tight-knit family in the United States, Jude is now living back in Lebanon. The opportunity arises to spend time with her inscrutable mother to better understand Hiba’s spiritual devotion — specifically, her fervent commitment to an all-female religious order that has been operating clandestinely for decades. 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. Jude pursues a cautious but determined questioning of this religious order’s stranglehold on her mother’s attention and blind devotion — a devotion that ends up causing an emotional rupture within their family.
Employing her skills as a talented cinematographer, filmmaker Jude Chehab crafts a commanding and assured first feature with kinetic aplomb and a visually-stunning cinematic approach. With Q, Chehab presents a respectful but altogether haunting exploration of faith, belief, and the ramifications of allegiance to a cause.––Jose Rodriguez