Films

(Un) hyphenated Complexities?

By 
Angele Ellis

The son of an Iraqi Muslim father and a Palestinian mother, Alshaibi immigrated to the United States as a child in the mid-1970s. Though he did not become a U.S. citizen until 2002, he is in many ways American – a lover of punk and metal music, a director of music videos, and the husband of a white Midwesterner. In his youth, he found solidarity with a group of American experimental filmmakers, musicians, and artists, and identifies himself as an atheist, who nonetheless feels respect for the “Mother Mosque” in Iowa City and its thoughtful imam....When his mother encourages him to change his name from Usama as part of his new citizenship, Alshaibi – who can be quite humorous – says, “At least now people know how to pronounce it.” 

American Arab
Directed by Usama Alshaibi
Cinema Guild, Kartemquin Films, 2013

A Subtle Approach to Unmasking the Assad Regime

By 
Bobby Gulshan

I struggled a bit to know what to say about PBS Frontline's “Inside Assad's Syria.” Searching the internet for reviews of the film, I found a rather uninteresting piece in a Hollywood business daily, as well as a blogger who felt that PBS had finally abandoned any pretext of truth in favor of outright propaganda in order to sell Assad to the American people. Clearly, they weren't paying attention to the fact that Smith registers his frustration throughout the program, wearing a purposefully tired expression while being carted along on an obvious pro-regime tour. Their inability to identify this clue made me wonder if the blogger and his approving commentators proved equally oblivious to the fact that Frontline obviously recognized the dog and pony show being provided by the regime, and could see just how easily people could fall for such tactics. 

Inside Assad's Syria
PBS Frontline 2015
Written and Produced by Martin Smith

The Legacy of a Martyr

Paige Donnelly

The late Mohamed Bouazizi was a butterfly for Tunisia. In life, he went unnoticed by society’s radar. But in death, his small wings blew tremors throughout the Arab world; his self-immolation on December 17, 2010 was seismic for the region. His death epitomizes the butterfly effect.

Rouge Parole
Directed and written by Elyes Baccar
Cinema Guild, 2011, 94 minutes

.The late Mohamed Bouazizi was a butterfly for Tunisia. In life, he went unnoticed by society’s radar. But in death, his small wings blew tremors throughout the Arab world; his self-immolation on December 17, 2010 was seismic for the region. His death epitomizes the butterfly effect.

Does God Distinguish Gender?

By 
Lynne Rogers

In “Rights and Wrongs, the Story of Women in Islam,” filmmaker Corinne Huq returns to the Quran to reestablish the precedents for women’s rights set forth by the Prophet Mohammed.  Huq tackles the rights of women, like her predecessors such as ... 

Rights and Wrongs, the Story of Women in Islam
Directed by Corine Huq
Women Make Movies, 2011

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