What’s going on? Country Focus: the Arab World

I Loved So Much
F/MAR 2005, Dir.: Dalila Ennadre

What’s going on? Country Focus: the Arab World

The Country Focus section at the film festival acts as a showcase for the cinematic oeuvre of women directors working in a given region. A year after the Arab Spring, the festival is pleased to organise an encounter with women film-makers based in North Africa and the Middle East whose films were made before the actual uprisings. The women's multi-layered and imaginative analyses of their societies from within offer an intriguing look at areas of conflict and levels of contradiction in the Arab world. What stories do the Arab film-makers have to tell and what are the female characters like?

We will therefore attempt via film and discussion to submit the image of the Arab world and Arab women to a kind of revision. Not that uprisings are exactly a new topic in Arab film repertories. On the contrary, public film production in the Arab republics often has its roots in revolutionary cinema. Re-appropriating one's own history, leading a self-determined life and aiming to gain sovereignty over imagery …these have always been central aspects of the anti-colonialist struggle. In this sense, film has frequently been deployed as a weapon against subjection to an external power. The Algerian FLN and the Palestinian PLO even ran film units that operated within the broad framework of armed resistance. On the other hand, plans to establish an independent film industry ultimately failed. When it comes to art movies, the various Arab countries are now reliant on coproductions with European companies.

Das Filmprogramm:

I Loved so Much

Mamnou'a (Forbidden)


Salata Baladi

Samtu Al-Qusur (Das Schweigen des Palastes)


Shou amb bi sir? (What's Going On?)

Zakira Mathqouba (Perforated Memory)

Workshop Discussion:

Voices from Exile - Workshop Discussion with Maysoon Pachachi