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"From My Syrian Room" by Hazem Alhamwi

AFAC Film Night at Sursock Museum

12 Sep, 2017 

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and Sursock Museum are pleased to announce the monthly series of screenings under the title AFAC Film Night, showcasing the work of Arab filmmakers supported by AFAC over the past years.

 

All screenings will take place at Sursock Museum Auditorium.

Free Admition

 

From My Syrian Room

Wednesday 13 September, 19:00 to 20:30

 

Directed by Hazem Alhamwi, 2014

In Arabic with English subtitles

Color, 70’

 

The year 2011 witnessed the beginning of unprecedented social movement in Syria after 40 years of political stagnation. In the early months of the uprisings, I was overtaken by a deep feeling of the certainty of death looming near me, around me. This film shares narratives from Syria. Some are personal stories; others are social commentaries; some arise from the present; others look at the past; all seek to explain the reasons for the outbreak of this revolution and how one’s soul can transform from seeking death to finding new desire for life.

 

Hazem Alhamwi is a director and producer born in Syria and currently living in Berlin. Alhamwi has directed and produced several films including the documentaries Childhood of the Place Part 1Stone Bird, and Alshaarani, as well as more experimental productions: The Right Side of that RoadDamascusBlue Coma, and Cold Breath. His documentary Childhood of the Place Part 1 won a grant from AFAC.

 

The Little Eagles 

Wednesday 11 October, 19:00 to 20:30

 

Directed by Mohamed Rashad, 2016

In Arabic with English subtitles

Color and black and white, 77’

 

Between two generations in Cairo, the left-wing activists of the sixties and seventies, and children of the nineties, many things remain to be said. The film revolves around a confrontation between the dreams, aspirations, political action, failure, frustration, alienation, and finally the revolution on both sides.

 

Mohamed Rashad is cofounder of Hassala Films. He was born in Egypt and studied cinema at a workshop organized by the Jesuit Cultural Center and the SIMAT Foundation. Rashad has worked as an assistant director on many independent films and has written and directed two short films:From Afar and Maxim. In 2016, he directed his first feature documentary Little Eagles and, for the first time, he worked as a producer on the feature documentary The Craft directed by Ramez Youssef. He is currently working on the development of his first fiction feature Wheelchair

 

The Mulberry House 

Wednesday 8 November, 19:00 to 20:30

 

Directed by Sara Habib Ishaq, 2013

In English and Arabic with English subtitles

Color, 64’

 

The film follows the filmmaker’s personal documentation of a casual reunion between estranged family members which escalate into an all-engulfing popular uprising. The film also focuses on the shifting dynamics between women and men within the context of a modern Yemeni family, testing all preconceived ideas about identity, social customs, familial and social bonds at a time when women's roles and input have become integral to the Yemeni revolution.

 

Sara Ishaq is a filmmaker, director, and producer based between Egypt and Yemen. In 2013, she completed her first feature film The Mulberry House, which deals with her relationship with her Yemeni family against the backdrop of the country’s 2011 revolution. Currently, she works on a number of Yemeni productions through her own company Setara Films about the current war in Yemen. Ishaq is also the co-founder of the Yemeni media collective #SupportYemen and Comra, Yemen’s first documentary film camp. 

 

Amal’s Garden (2012) and And on a Different Note (2015)

Wednesday 6 December, 19:00 to 20:00

 

Amal’s Garden

 

Directed by Nadia Shihab

In Turkmen and Arabic with English subtitles

Color, HD, 32’

 

Amal and Mustafa have lived a long life together in northern Iraq. When Amal decides to finally renovate her home after a decade of war, 85-year-old Mustafa retreats to the melodic wilderness of the garden. A lyrical and intimate documentary on companionship, memory, and new beginnings,Amal’s Garden is the moving portrait of one couple moving forward in a new Iraq, where, as one world is disappearing, another is being born.

 

Nadia Shihab is a film director and artist based in Oakland, working primarily in nonfiction film and music. Shihab’s music compositions have been commissioned for films aired on US public television, and her recent film Amal's Garden was shown in festivals and galleries internationally, including at Cinema du Reel at the Centre Pompidou, the Walker Art Center, and the Arab American National Museum. She has been an artist-in-residency with the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, and SF FilmHouse, was a Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, and is currently a Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow.

 

And on a Different Note

 

Directed by Mohamed Shawky Hassan

In Arabic with English subtitles

Color, 24’

 

And on a Different Note is a reflection on the ambivalent relationship of an Egyptian living in New York City with the ongoing political developments in Egypt and the media rhetoric associated with them. This audiovisual experience is created through the juxtaposition of images of the author's various habitats within the city, and sound fragments from Egyptian prime time talk shows, echoing a growing sense of alienation and a state of physical detachment, and capturing the stillness of New York's urban life compared to the pace of events and their surrounding debates in Egypt.

 

Mohammad Shawky Hassan is a filmmaker and scholar. He studied philosophy, film direction, and cinema studies at The American University in Cairo, the Academy of Cinematic Arts and Sciences, and Columbia University. His films include It Was Related to Me (2011) and On a Day Like Today (2012). He has presented films at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, The New York Public Library and UnionDocs, and is currently running the Network of Arab Arthouse Screens (NAAS).
 


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