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Arab Film Festival


  1. Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine

    Connie Field / Documentary / USA / 2013 / 93 mins
    In a compelling and emotional documentary, award-winning director Connie Field captures the eye-opening experiences of the choir as its members witness the open wound of the Palestinian struggle.
    Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine

    Harmony Gold (Los Angeles)
    Oct. 20, 2013 4:30 pm

    Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine

    Shattuck Cinemas (Berkeley)
    Oct. 27, 2013 9:00 pm

  2. Cinéma Inch’Allah!

    Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe / Documentary / Belgium / 2012 / 72 mins
    The film portrays four Belgian-Moroccan filmmakers in their thirties by following the production process of their latest film: JAMAL DISCO II. Since adolescence, and with incredible enthusiasm, they have managed to produce over thirty low-budget movies in which they often have played the main characters themselves. Their movies, a mix between the Jean-Claude Vandamme en Louis de Funès films, are not only the sum of their fears and desires, but also a way of projecting an image of themselves towards their own community and the outside world. But a lot has changed since adolescence; when one decides to radically change his life, the filmmakers' friendship and the future of their common cinema goals are threatened. Can the group survive this crisis or have they outgrown each-other?
    Cinéma Inch’Allah!

    The New Parkway (Oakland)
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:30 pm

  3. Democracy Year Zero

    Amira Chebli and Christophe Cotteret / Documentary / Belgium, France, Tunisia / 2013 / 114 mins
    Four weeks. This is the time the Tunisian people took to overthrow the dictator Ben Ali and make way for the greatest geopolitical upheaval of the beginning of the 21st century. Nevertheless, the Tunisian revolution, as unexpected and dazzling it may have appeared to the world, is part of a much bigger story. A story that extends from the first revolts in the Gafsa mining region in January 2008, to the first free elections in October 2011. In two chapters and 12 months of investigation, Democracy Year Zero becomes the eyewitness of this major event in its entirety, through the eyes of the main opponents and revolutionaries.
    Centerpiece Film: Democracy Year Zero

    Shattuck Cinemas (Berkeley)
    Oct. 25, 2013 9:00 pm

  4. Electro Chaabi

    Hind Meddeb / Documentary / Egypt, France / 2013 / 78 mins
    The film explores the parallels between music and politics in particular illuminating the alternative space for communication about Egypts revolution offered by electro chaabi music. Set in the slums of Cairo, the film explores the rich cultural scene of underground music in Egypt incorporating folk, electronic, and rap.
    Electro Chaabi (Oakland)

    The New Parkway (Oakland)
    Oct. 24, 2013 7:30 pm

  5. Embers

    Tamara Stepanyan / Documentary / Lebanon, USA / 2012 / 77 mins
    Embers explores the ghosts of soviet-Armenia, spurred by the filmmakers personal desire to explore the life of her grandmother. The film interviews the remaining circle of her grandmother's friends, transporting the film past the medium of documentary into a meditation on loss, history and existentialism.

    Opera Plaza Cinema (San Francisco)
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:00 pm

  6. In Search of Oil and Sand

    Wael Omar and Philippe Dib / Documentary / Egypt / 2012 / 59 mins
    In Search of Oil and Sand follows Mahmoud Sabit, as he unveils the story behind Oil and Sand, an 8mm film ironically shot just weeks before the royal Egyptian family was overthrown in a coup d'Etat. After 60 years, Mahmoud assembles the last surviving copy of the film, reconstructing the story behind the film, the people involved, and the political circumstances surrounding the film.
    In Search of Oil and Sand

    Opera Plaza Cinema (San Francisco)
    Oct. 13, 2013 12:00 pm

  7. The Lebanese Rocket Society

    Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige / Documentary / France, Lebanon, Qatar / 2012 / 95 mins
    In the early 60's, during the cold war and the apex of Pan Arabism, a group of utopian students and researchers enters the race to space and create the Lebanese Rocket Society. Sometimes, and specially nowadays, dreams can overtake a tormented history.
    The Lebanese Rocket Society

    Harmony Gold (Los Angeles)
    Oct. 19, 2013 4:30 pm

    The Lebanese Rocket Society

    Shattuck Cinemas (Berkeley)
    Oct. 27, 2013 5:00 pm

  8. O Mon Corps! (Oh My Body)

    Laurent Aït Benalla / Documentary / France, Qatar / 2012 / 70 mins
    Algiers. Choreographer Abou Lagraa and Nawal Aït Benalla Lagraa conceived this first training of contemporary dance in Algeria as a bridge between Mediterranean cultures. Ten dancers were selected to give birth to Lagraa’s choreography Nya."O my Body!" depicts the structuring of this group of dancers, mostly composed of self-taught hip-hop street performers, till the evening of the world premiere at the National Theater of Algiers.
    O Mon Corps! (O My Body!) / The Cup Reader

    Opera Plaza Cinema (San Francisco)
    Oct. 13, 2013 8:30 pm

  9. The Runner

    Saeed Taji Farouky / Documentary / France, Ireland, UK / 2013 / 94 mins
    The Runner is a film about Salah Hmatou Ameidan, who uses his talent as a runner to protest against the occupation of his homeland, Western Sahara. The film suggests that the runner's physical endurance is his political weapon. It is the story of a champion long-distance runner whose journey transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement.
    The Runner

    Opera Plaza Cinema (San Francisco)
    Oct. 12, 2013 4:00 pm

  10. Sleepless Nights

    Eliane Raheb / Documentary / Lebanon, Palestine, Qatar, UAE / 2012 / 128 mins
    Through the stories of Assaad Shaftari, a former high ranking intelligence officer in a Christian right wing militia, responsible for many casualties in the protracted civil war in Lebanon and Maryam Saiidi, the mother of Maher, a missing young communist fighter who disappeared in 1982, the film digs in the war wounds and asks if redemption and forgiveness are possible
    Sleepless Nights

    Shattuck Cinemas (Berkeley)
    Oct. 26, 2013 2:30 pm