an original screenplay by Sandy Ibrahim
Inanna, the powerful and alluring Sumerian queen, defies the Sky Gods and abandons her throne to comfort her widowed sister, Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld. After a gruelling and humiliating descent, Inanna is sentenced to die for a crime she did not know she’d committed.
Over four thousand years ago, in the cradle of civilization, Sumerian’s most beloved deity was the goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth.
As young Queen, Inanna is separated from her mother and sister and raised by paternal Sky Gods. She later falls in love with a mortal shepherd and tricks the god Enki into giving her the tools of civilization. She, in turn, offers those gifts to mankind.
Years later, Inanna lives in Uruk among the mortals. She shares the temple with her beloved shepherd Dumuzi, unaware he encroaches on her power. At a market, she sees a soldier roughly handling a little girl and stops him from taking her to a children’s prison.
But before she is confronted with the full truth of the crimes being committed in her own kingdom, Inanna hears a call from her sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (Kur). Ereshkigal’s husband has died and Inanna insists on helping with the funeral.
But the laws of Kur state that no soul can enter the underworld and return to their former life. Inanna appeals to the Sky Gods, Anu and Ellil, and asks for their help. They both discourage her and claim they have no power in Kur.
With her trusted friend Ninshubur by her side, Inanna sets off without their support. She instructs Ninshubur to appeal to them if she has not returned in three days.
Inanna pounds on the gate of Kur. Neti, the gatekeeper, allows Inanna to enter one gate at a time but only after she removes an article of royal clothing. By the time she faces her grieving sister, Inanna is dirty, naked and humiliated.
Ereshkigal and the judges of Kur deem her guilty of hubris. Inanna is killed and hung on a meat hook, left to rot.
Three days pass and Ninshubur begs Anu and Ellil to help free Inanna. They both refuse. Desperate to save the life of her beloved friend, Ninshubur approaches Enki. Although Enki has less power than either Anu or Ellil, he finds a way.
He creates two genderless reflective water daemons and sends them down with strict instructions.
Upon meeting a distressed Ereshkigal, they reflect her deep suffering and Ereshkigal’s pain subsides. Grateful for the relief, she promises them anything. They ask for the flesh on the hook. They revive Inanna but as she leaves, Neti reminds her of the law of the underworld. For Inanna to be freed, she must send someone else to take her place.
The judges accompany Inanna back to Uruk. They suggest Ninshubur as a replacement but Inanna will not allow it. They meet her grieving sons and ask to take one or the other of them. Again, Inanna refuses.
Finally, they see a drunk Dumuzi. He sits on the throne - prostitutes on both knees. Inanna orders the judges to take him. Dumuzi’s sister offers her life in his place and Inanna cuts a deal where each of them spends half a year in the underworld, while the other lives on Earth.
Inanna resumes her role as queen of Uruk and frees all the prisoners. She learns that the little girl prisoner is orphaned. Inanna takes her in as her own and initiates her as a goddess.