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Cinema society

The thrilling and urgent opening film Fatwa takes us down into the dark heart of radical Islamism. While some theories attempt to trace this phenomenon back to the Koran and others point to the relations between the Middle East and the West as the source of all misery, this film looks at the generational conflict as the breeding ground for radicalization. In the short film Brotherhood, about a young man returning from Syria, the father-son conflict takes a prominent role.

What is causing the wide gap between today’s young people and their parents? In the multi-ethnic love tragedy For a Happy Life, the Pakistani wedding arrangements contrasts sharply with the aloofness of the Algerian father towards his daughter’s personal life. The relationship that develops between a delinquent and a man old enough to be his grandfather in the short film Le chant d’Ahmed offers a much more hopeful view of the battle between the generations.

Tunisia on the move

It has been over eight years since the Tunisian revolution that eventually unleashed the Arab Spring in the entire region. Although recent events in neighboring country Algeria show that the fire of the resistance has not gone out, until now Tunisia is the only country where an authoritarian regime was successfully replaced by a pluralist democracy. This promising transition seems to be reflected in a revival of Tunisian film productions, a selection of which will be shown at Cinéma Arabe. Besides the opening film Fatwa, a drama close to current events, Whispering Sands takes you on a contemplative journey through time and the desert. The cheerful short film Nefta Football Club and the tragic Brotherhood address the dangerous temptations that young people growing up in the Tunisian countryside are faced with. The unvarnished drama Look at Me portrays an emigrant who is forced to drastically reconsider his life and his traditional views on manhood.

15 years Cinéma Arabe

The very first edition of Cinéma Arabe took place in 2004 at the Film Museum Cinerama Amsterdam. That year Le grand voyage was premiered at the festival: a heartwarming road movie which, fifteen years after it was published, still offers relevant insights into the generational gap between migrants and their children growing up in Europe. Over the past fifteen years, dozens of other films were made that are begging to be watched again, either because of their timeless character (Bab’Aziz), because they caught the moment in such a gripping way (From My Syrian Room) or because its subject matter remains of current interest (Cairo 678). While dramatic events unfold in the Maghreb and the Middle East, against all odds cinema constantly renews itself. With this selection of ten feature films and documentaries we look back on 15 years of Cinéma Arabe.

Panel discussions

The power of identity

Within our festival theme Cinema Society, filmmakers discuss matters of identity and the place that the topic has in the political and social debate of the 21st century. Your work, your passport, your political choices. Your country of birth, your faith, your memories, the language of your dreams, the color of your skin. What is it that determines who you are? And which pitfalls are there?

Panel discussion after the screening of Fatwa, fri may 10-5   15:30

Culture as a remedy

What is the meaning of war when it suddenly enters your own, perfectly ordinary life? What would you put at stake hoping for safety? How would you handle the endless contradictions at the border between Israel and Palestine? The films shown at the festival zoom in on what connects us to the people who the news often reduces to numbers. A number of prominent speakers and filmmakers investigate the role that art and culture can play in this, and what it takes.

Panel discussion after the screening of Whispering Sands, sat 11-5 | 14:15

Cinéma Arabe

Sphinx Art Productions
Van Hogendorpstraat 199-HS
1051 CA Amsterdam

Telephone: +31 (0) 20 486 8008
E-mail: info@cinemaarabe.nl