Tag Archives: Arabic

Chadi Abdel Salam – Al-mummia AKA The Night of Counting the Years (1969)

In the late 1800s, an isolated Egyptian mountain clan sustains itself by exploiting Egypt’s ancient heritage, secretly raiding the tombs of the Pharaohs in Thebes. “One of the greatest Egyptian films ever made, Al-Mummia has an extremely unusual tone – stately, poetic, with a powerful grasp of time and the sadness it carries. The carefully measured pace, the almost ceremonial movement of the camera, the classical Arabic spoken on the soundtrack, the unsettling score by the great Italian composer Mario Nascimbene – they all work in perfect harmony… This picture has a sense of history like no other, and in the end, the film is strangely, even hauntingly consoling – the final understanding of who and what we are” (Martin Scorsese). Read More »

Mohamed Soueid – Cinema Fouad (1993)

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Khaled, a Syrian transgender migrant who was born male, dreams of undergoing gender transition surgery. While trying to make a living from various menial jobs, she falls in love with a Palestinian freedom fighter and joins his resistance. Gently, compassionately, Cinema Fouad draws a portrait of Khaled and introduces the viewer to one of Beirut’s rarely seen netherworlds. Read More »

Maryam Touzani – Adam (2019)

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Abla runs a modest local bakery from her home in Casablanca where she lives alone with her 8-year-old daughter, Warda. When Samia, a young pregnant woman knocks on their door, Abla is far from imagining that her life will change forever. Read More »

Marwa Arsanios – Have you ever killed a bear? or Becoming Jamila (2014)

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A video that uses the history of a magazine – Cairo’s Al-Hilal ‘50s and ‘60s collection – as the starting point for an inquiry into Jamila Bouhired, the Algerian freedom fighter. An actress designated to play her role is showing the magazine’s covers to the camera. From the different representations of Jamila in cinema to her assimilation and promotion through the magazine, the performance attempts to look at the history of socialist projects in Egypt, anti-colonial wars in Algeria, and the way they have promoted and marginalized feminist projects. Read More »

Amjad Abu Alala – You Will Die at 20 (2019)

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Shortly after Muzamil was born, the village’s holy man predicts that he will die at age 20. Muzamil’s father can’t stand the curse and leaves home. Sakina raises her son as a single mother, overly protective. One day, Muzamil turns 19. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Adieu Bonaparte AKA Farewell Bonaparte (1985)

Quote:
In 1798, Napoleon lands his army in Egypt, defeats the Mameluke warlords (the remnants of Ottoman rule), and goes on to Cairo. Three brothers, who are Egyptian patriots, chafe under Mameluke rule and reject the prospect of French domination. Bakr, the eldest, is a hothead, quick to advocate armed rebellion; Ali is more philosophical and poetic; Yehia is young and impressionable. One of Napoleon’s generals, the one-legged intellectual Caffarelli, wants to make Frenchmen out of Ali, Yehia, and other Egyptians, opening a bakery where their father works, becoming a tutor, and declaring his love for them. Is tragedy the only resolution of these conflicting loyalties? Read More »

Eran Riklis – Ha-Kala Ha-Surit AKA The Syrian Bride (2004)

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In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the Revolution Studios in Damascus, Syria. They have never met each other because of the occupation of the area by Israel since 1967; when Mona moves to Syria, she will lose her undefined nationality and will never be allowed to return home. Mona’s father Hammed is a political activist pro-Syria that is on probation by the Israeli government. His older son Hatten married a Russian woman eight years ago and was banished from Majdal Shams by the religious leaders and his father. His brother Marwan is a wolf trader that lives in Italy. His sister Amal has two teenager daughters and has the intention to join the university, but her marriage with Amin is in crisis. When the family gathers for Mona’s wedding, an insane bureaucracy jeopardizes the ceremony. Read More »