Tag Archives: Arabic

Seifollah Dad – Almoutabaki AKA The Survivor (1995)

An emotional and symbolic drama depicting the transformation of Palestine into Israel by focusing on an Arab and Jewish couple who occupy the same house before and after the establishment of the state of Israel. Palestinian physician Saeed and his wife Latifeh live in 1948 Haifa. As Jewish refugees arrive from Europe and the Palestinian residents protest, tensions mount in the city. During the ensuing war, Saeed and Latifeh are killed but their infant son Farhan survives. Soon thereafter, a Jewish couple takes up residence in Saeed’s house and adopts Farhan, whose name has been changed to Moshe. Meanwhile, Saeed’s mother Safiyeh, who had come to Haifa to convince her son to flee the mounting tensions, finds out what happened and poses as the former nanny of Farhan/Moshe while her husband Rasheed plans their revenge. Read More »

Nadine Labaki – Et maintenant on va où? AKA Where Do We Go Now? (2011)

In an isolated Lebanese village, the mosque and the church stand side by side–but religious tension threatens to boil over, particularly as a series of pranks escalates into ever-increasing hostility. The women of the village, both Christian and Muslim, concoct improbable schemes to defuse the tension, including hiring a troupe of Ukrainian belly dancers. Where Do We Go Now? veers back and forth between wrenching drama and cheerful comedy but somehow maintains a balance. Director-actress Nadine Labaki leads her mostly nonprofessional cast with heart and fervor. Read More »

Haifaa Al-Mansour – Wadjda [+commentary] (2012)

Slant Magazine wrote:
Wadjda, a film about the oppression and long-imposed inferiority of women in Saudi Arabia, even begins with a downward-tilted, condescending gaze, offering an opening shot of school girls’ feet. One pair is notably different from the others, sporting purple-laced Chuck Taylors instead of the uniform-y patent-leather slip-ons. These, of course, are the feet of the 10-year-old title character (Waad Mohammed), whose rebellious nature is immediately, ham-handedly underlined as a rally cry for all Saudi women. Reluctant to sing in a choral-type lesson among her tuneful classmates, Wadjda is quiet and unengaged, to which an instructor reacts with, “What’s the matter, Wadjda? You don’t want us to hear your voice?” Cut to Wadjda inside her bedroom full of Western-pop-culture décor, listening to Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied.” Read More »

Nadine Labaki – Capharnaüm AKA Capernaum (2018)

Quote:
Capernaüm (“Chaos”) tells the story of Zain (Zain al-Rafeea), a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life. The film follows Zain as he journeys from gutsy, streetwise child to hardened 12-year-old “adult” fleeing his negligent parents, surviving through his wits on the streets, where he meets Ethiopian migrant worker Rahil, who provides him with shelter and food, as Zein takes care of her baby son Yonas in return. Zein later gets Jailed for committing a violent crime, and finally seeks justice in a courtroom. Read More »

Khalid Abdulrahim Al-Zadjali – Al-boom (2006)

A coastal fishing and boat building town is the site of a classic struggle between traditional ways represented by Nokhithah (Captain) Salem “Abu Zahir” and the ways of progess represented by Sheik Ibrahim whose business investments would benefit from a collapse of the economy of the town. This is the first film to be produced in Oman. Read More »

Mohamed Chouikh – El kalaa AKA The Citadel (1989)

Synopsis:
Set in a rugged little Algerian mountain village, in a moslem culture, where male and female society works under a strongly patriarchal controlling influence. Insensitive and brutish Sidi has three wives, one-near suicide, and an adoptive son whom he beats and intends to force into a farcical marriage. Simple-minded Kaddour cannot find a bride and is eventually married to a mannequin dummy… Read More »

Rami Imam – Hassan wa Morcus AKA Hassan and Marcus (2008)

When the lives of Sheikh Mahmoud, a Muslim preacher (played by Omar Sharif), and Boulos, a Christian priest (played by Adel Emam), are threatened by religious extremists on both sides, the Egyptian government inducts them into a witness protection program that requires them to disguise themselves as the Christian Marcus and the Muslim Sheikh Hassan, in a reversal of their religious identities. When they unwittingly move into the same building, a friendship blossoms that must, along with a romance between their respective children, withstand the difficulties of prejudice and social persecution. The film addresses issues of religious extremism, intolerance and sectarian violence, and emphasizes the possibility of friendship and love between members of different religions. Read More »