In recent decades, there have been radical changes to the political scene in a number of Arab countries. This raises a number of new challenges for Arab filmmakers wishing to document political affairs and current events in their homelands. How to depict a civil war and how to find the required tools for shooting in such irregular circumstances are among the crucial issues that filmmakers who want to cover civil conflicts and wars must address professionally.
In cooperation with Zawya and Seen Films, the French Institute in Mounira is hosting a programme called “Arab Cinema Enters Civil Wars” from 22 to 26 March, curated by writer and poet Mohamed Fatthy Kalfa . The schedule features six screenings for documentaries and narrative films depicting case studies of historical and recent civil wars in the Arab world. Two filmmakers will be hosted by the institute to discuss the story behind their films, the shooting situations, and their perspective of the conflicts presented. A collective presentation of various scenes from different Arabic-language and foreign-language films, portraying both older and more recent civil wars in the region, will also be provided.
The programme begins with a screening of Algerian film “Zendj Revolution” which was first released in 2013. The film tells the story of an Algerian journalist who decides to investigative the forgotten uprisings against the Abbasid Caliphate back in the 8th-9th century CE. , The screening will be attended by film critic Al-Taher Al-Shekhawy and played with both English and Arabic subtitles.
Sudanese documentary “Beats of the Antonov” will be screened twice; in the French Institute and at Cinema Zawya downtown. The film portrays the role of music in bringing communities together in the face of conflict and war. Moreover, three short films by renowned Lebanese director Maroun Al-Baghdadi will screen on 24 March, including “Histoire d’un Village et d’une Guerre”, “La Plus Belle des Mères” and “Guerre sur la Guerre”. The programme closes with the French film “Tripoli Tomorrow”, the latest artistic work by director Florent Marcie.
A detailed schedule can be found on the French Institute’s official Facebook page.