Arabian Sights Film Festival

Published On November 2, 2012 | By John Hanshaw | FILM SCREENINGS
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WASHINGTON FILM INSTITUTE
cordially invites you to the
ARABIAN SIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL 2012

ARABIAN SIGHTS

| LOCATION: National Geographic
1600 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Free Parking in Garage

| DATE(S): Friday November 2 – Sunday November 5

Arabian Sights, presented by the Washington, DC International Film Festival, will take place in collaboration with the National Geographic Museum, currently hosting 1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization, an award-winning exhibition showcasing the scientific and cultural achievements from Muslim civilization from the 7th century onward. Receive a special rate for the exhibition when you purchase a ticket for Arabian Sights.

GUSTO

EL GUSTO

SAFINEZ BOUSBIA
Algeria, France, 2011, 88 minutes, Color, Digital

Safinez

In Person: Director Safinez Bousbia

It all started in a small mirror shop during director Safinez Bousbia’s visit to Algiers in 2003 when she came across old photographs of a music class from the 1940s. Her curiosity inspired her to learn more, and she set out to track down the classmates, Muslim and Jewish, now between the ages of 70 and 100 and residing in Algeria and abroad. The photos were from sessions at the Conservatory of Algiers, where the students had studied under the legendary master El Hadj M’Hamed El Anka. Their musical genre Chabbi, literally “the music of the people,” defied class, religion, and ethnicity. When the Algerian Revolution began the group could not sustain; the Jewish friends fled the country while the remaining band members scattered. Through years of detective work and extensive travel, Bousbia reunites the musician friends in this moving documentary to once again celebrate life and friendship as the group “El Gusto.” Winner of Best Director from the Arab World at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

In Arabic with English subtitles / Co-presented with the Embassy of Algeria / Reception on Fri 11/2*

FRI NOVEMBER 2
6:30 PM
$12.00* (includes reception)

SAT NOVEMBER 3
9:00 PM
$12.00

ASMAA

ASMA’A

AMR SALAMA
Egypt, 2011, 96 minutes, Color, 35mm

KHALED

In Person: Actor/director Khalid Abol Naga (November 2nd)

Asma’a is representative of a growing number of films using cinema to raise awareness of social issues in Egypt. In a society where HIV/AIDS is still stigmatized, 45-year-old Asma’a (Hend Sabri) stays under the radar by avoiding any situation that would reveal her positive status. In the big city, she keeps to herself while working as a janitor to make a meager living for herself and her teenage daughter. However, Asma’a wasn’t always so introverted; before she moved to Cairo from a small village, she was outspoken and independent. Though her HIV remains asymptomatic, Asma’a needs an operation for a gall-bladder problem but no doctor will operate on her when they discover she is ill. Edgy TV talk-show host Mohsen (Maged El Kedwany) becomes aware of Asma’a’s plight and encourages her to speak out publically on her own behalf and address the ignorance in the community. The film’s haunting imagery speaks to the gravity of the subject. Winner of Best Director from the Arab World and Best Actor at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

In Arabic with English subtitles / Co-presented with the Embassy of Egypt / Reception on Sun 11/4*

FRI NOVEMBER 2
9:00 PM
$12.00

SUN NOVEMBER 4
5:15 PM
$12.00* (includes reception)

BIG LOVE

HOW BIG IS YOUR LOVE

FATMA ZOHRA ZAMOUM
Algeria, Morocco, 2011, 98 minutes, Color, 35mm

When his parents need some time to sort out their marriage, 8-year-old Adel goes to stay with his grandparents, Khadidja and Lounès, for a weekend. The grandparents, eager to spend time with the boy, welcome him in with loving and sympathetic arms. Grandfather Lounès introduces Adel to the adventurous world of animals living in Algiers and the boy is especially fond of a little sparrow. Khadidja ensures that Adel feels comfortable in their apartment and encourages him, on a daily basis, to quantify the size of his love. Director Fatma Zohra Zamoum, sensitive to the nuances of the human relationship, taps into the uniquely tender bond that can arise between a very young person with fresh eyes and an older adult who thinks he’s already seen it all.

In Arabic with English subtitles / Co-presented with the Embassy of Algeria

SAT NOVEMBER 3
4:00 PM
$12.00

SUN NOVEMBER 4
3:00 PM
$12.00

HEELS OF WAR

HEELS OF WAR

JOE BOU EID
Lebanon, UAE, 2011, 98 minutes, Color, Digital

JOE

In Person: Director Joe Bou Eid

History gracefully blends with magical realism in Joe Bou Eid’s beautifully executed tale of his parents’ first meeting and subsequent romance. Ever clad in high heels and red lipstick, Eid’s mother (played by Joy Karam) along with her family evacuate Beirut and move to a small southern Lebanese village after the 1982 Israeli invasion. Among those awaiting their arrival is a local heartthrob, priest-in training and Eid’s future father (played by Chady El Tineh). The palpable chemistry between the two develops rapidly and radiantly. The pair’s friends and family consist of an eclectic and endearing cast of characters, many of whom also hazard their own romantic endeavors during this period of national turmoil. TV and radio clips of the invasion and even snippets of charming vintage Lebanese television commercials play in the background of moments of utter beauty and true love.

In Arabic with English subtitles

SAT NOVEMBER 3
6:30 PM
$12.00

SUN NOVEMBER 4
7:30 PM
$12.00

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