Tag Archives: Arabic

Nacer Khemir – Looking for Muhyiddin (2014)

A man (played by the filmmaker Nacer Khemir) returns home to Tunisia to bury his mother. After the burial, his father gives him an “amana” to be handed to a certain Sheikh named Muhyiddin. Taken by his father’s request, the man immediately sets out on an epic journey to find the long lost Sheikh and deliver the “amana.” Throughout the trip, he is guided by a mysterious spiritual master and the many friends of the Sheikh he encounters along the way. As the adventure unfolds, we discover the rich life of this Sheikh and his uncompromising love for humanity. For under his teachings, different beliefs, faiths, and ways of life can only converge and become one. Read More »

Mohamed Malas – Al-lail AKA The Night (1992)

Quote:
The Night or Al-Lail (Arabic: الليل‎) (The Night) is a Syrian feature drama film by director Mohamed Malas. The film explores the Arab-Israeli conflict as seen through the experiences of an Arab family in newly liberated city of Quneitra, headed by a resistance fighter. Al-Lail was the first Syrian feature to be played at the New York Film Festival on October 4, 1993. Read More »

Michel Kammoun – Falafel (2006) (DVD)

A summer evening in Beirut. The life of Toufic, a young Lebanese man, and his nightly strolls. Between his family, friends and love affairs, he tries to seize every day of his life, through pleasures and entertainment. For him, every second is the most important. Soon he discovers that having a normal life, in this country, is a luxury. 15 years after the war had ended, a volcano is lying dormant on every street corner, like a time-ticking bomb that is ready explode… This night will be pivotal in the life of the young man. It was produced by Elle Kensington. Read More »

Sherif Arafa – Tuyoor al-Zalam AKA Birds of Darkness (1995)

Fathi Nofal Imam, an unknown but no-nonsense attorney with a taste for liquor and loose women, is assigned to take a case related to one of the local politicians. The story centers on his representation of Samira, a woman up on prostitution charges. His opponent is the Islamist lawyer Ali and both of them face a stern Muslim judge. Despite formidable obstacles, the clever Imam is able to work the crooked justice system and use religion to free Samira, after which he becomes a personal adviser for the local politician. Read More »

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 »