Films

A Day of Dignity: Karama with the Blood of Innocents

By 
Bobby Gulshan


Karama Has No walls
Directed by Sara Ishaq
Cinema Guild, 2013

The heartbreaking film “Karama Has No Walls” recounts the 2011 protests in Yemen’s capital against the autocratic rule of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The film relies on extremely powerful first-hand video taken by protestors, primarily by two young cameramen, Khaled Rajeh and Nasr al-Namir, at protests referred to as “The day of Karama” or day of dignity.

‘The Iranian Trilogy’ Broken Promise: The Incarcerated Innocents of Iran

By 
Lynne Rogers
 
Youth Behind Bars: The Iranian Trilogy
 
It’s Always Late for Freedom
Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei
Cinema Guild, 2007
 
The Last Days of Winter
Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei
Cinema Guild, 2011
 
Starless Dreams 
Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei 
Cinema Guild, 2016
 
In his trilogy, “Youth Behind Bars,” Iranian filmmaker, Mehrdad Oskouei exposes the lost innocence of juveniles inc

Rapping for Hope: Hip Hop and Arranged Marriages

By 
Bobby Gulshan
“Sonita” tells the story of a young Afghani girl living in Tehran. From the outset of the film, Sonita is beset with the problems of an immigrant, having no status, insufficient identification and too little money. In the case of this young aspiring rapper, this may also include a dream too big for her world. 
In a scene early in the film, the teacher asks Sonita and the other immigrant Afghan girls who attend her class to make imaginary passports, which involves choosing their parents and place of origin. Sonita’s “passport” says her name is “Sonita Jackson,” and when asked by the teacher why she chose that, Sonita replies that she wants her imaginary parents to be Michael Jackson and Rihanna.
 
 
Sonita
Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Women Make Movies, 2015
 
“Sonita” tells the story of a young Afghani girl living in Tehran. From the outset of the film, Sonita is beset with the problems of an immigrant, having no status, insufficient identification and too little money.

“Nefertiti’s Daughters”: Using Street Art to Foment Revolution

By Nada Ramadan Elnahla

The documentary, “Nefertiti’s Daughters,” chronicles women’s endeavors during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 and how street art reflected their unprecedented revolutionary efforts. Street art, a powerful tool in itself, proved especially adept at highlighting the ongoing battles of these women against social, political and religious oppression, battles where “The voice of women is a revolution.”


“Nefertiti’s Daughters”
Directed by Mark Nickolas and Racha Najdi
Icarus Films, 2015

The Songs Linger Long After the Names Are Erased

By Lynne Rogers

In Melborne, Australia, when Iraqi exile Majid Shokor decides to look into his musical history, he discovers, much to his surprise, how much Iraqi music owes to the country’s former Jewish population. The film, “On the Banks of the Tigris, the hidden story of Iraqi music,” documents Shokor’s global journey to meet a variety of Iraqi musicians and hear their stories. (Photo caption and credit: Yair Dalal and Majid Shokor, courtesy of Fruitful Films)

On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music
Directed/Produced by Marsha Emerman
Fruitful Films, 2015. 79 minutes

Syrian Refugee Drama Troupe Seeks to Heal Traumas

By 
Al Jadid Staff

It is no accident that the "Love Boat" theatrical sea journey ends in Shakespeare's "King Lear," as more and more Syrians die either under assault from Assad and Russian bombs or by drowning, desperately taking to the seas in hopes of escaping genocidal policies.

Unrelated to an American TV series under the same name, “Love Boat,” directed by Nawar Bulbul and performed last April in Amman, weaves together a charming fictional story about members of a theatre troupe who have fled Syria in the midst of war and reunited in the Mediterranean. The characters in the story band together to perform a new play in each of the countries they cross as they inch towards Germany seeking refuge.

It is no accident that the "Love Boat" theatrical sea journey ends in Shakespeare's "King Lear," as more and more Syrians die either under assault from Assad and Russian bombs or by drowning, desperately taking to the seas in hopes of escaping genocidal policies.

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