Mideast movies in Michigan: award winning films head across the pond for Arab film fest
The Arab-American National Museum in Michigan, USA, is to hold its Arab Film Festival from Thursday 24 January until Saturday 26 January, featuring a number of short, feature, and documentary films by independent Arab filmmakers.
Among the featured films will be the Egyptian documentary 1/2 Revolution by Karim El-Hakim and Omar Shargawi.
1/2 Revolution is a personal story about a group of friends living in downtown Cairo, who struggle to stay together during the first chaotic days of the Egyptian Revolution. The film was shown at the Dubai Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival in 2011.
The festival will also feature Pegase (Pegasus) by the Moroccan director Mohamed Mouftakir which won the Golden Stallion of Yennega Prize at the Pan African Film Festival (FESPACO) in 2011.
Pegaseis is about a young woman (Majdoline Drissi), traumatised by her dictatorial father’s insistence that she be raised as a boy. Majdoline finds herself the unwitting patient of a psychiatrist intent on learning the truth behind her story. Reality turns into a haunted fever-dream of fear and denial in this visually striking psychological thriller. Moufkatir is considered a leading voice in the New Moroccan cinema wave. This is his first feature film.
1/2 Revolution and Pegase are to be featured among five other Arab films:Teta (Grandma) by Lebanese director Merva Faddoul; Habibi Rasak Kharban (Darling, Something’s Wrong with Your Head) by Palestinian Susan Youssef; Habibti (Darling) by Arab-British fillmmaker Nour Wazzi; Teta, Alf Marra (Grandma, A Thousand Times), a joint project by UAE, Qatar, and Lebanon, and by director Mahmoud Kaabour; Private Sun by Palestinian Rami Alayan, and the animated Here by the female Jordanian director Reem Munir Katami.
According the Arab-American National Museum, its organising committee, the Museum's Public Programming plays a dynamic role in the preservation and celebration of the cultural heritages of all people:
"We value the arts not only as an aesthetic expression of the human experience, but also as a tool that empowers all people and instils community pride ... through the arts, we hope to build bridges that span racial, cultural and ethnic divisions."