North African Studies

A SON (UN FILS)
A SON (UN FILS)
A SON (UN FILS)
A SON (UN FILS)

A SON (UN FILS)

Regular price $395.00
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A Son - Trailer - ArtMattan Films.mp4 from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

A SON / Bik Eneich: Un fils 

DIRECTED BY MEHDI BARSAOUI 
TUNISIA/ 2019/ DRAMA/ ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES/ 96 MIN

SYNOPSIS

An intense family drama starring French-Tunisian actor Sami Bouajila, winner of the Orizzonti Award for Best Actor, Venice Film Festival 2019.  11 year old Aziz needs a liver transplant after being seriously injured during a terrorist ambush while on holiday in 2011. At the hospital, a family secret will be revealed.

A drama that expertly captures complex human emotions within their socio-cultural, historical and political context. ~ Hollywood Reporter

Not many debuting directors are able to bring subtlety and depth to a heart-rending subject, which is just one reason why Mehdi M. Barsaoui's superb "A Son" deserves significant attention. ~ Variety

It's a film reminiscent of the work of Iranian master Asghar Farhadi [A Separation, The Salesman], full of twists and turns as it puts its characters in increasingly tragic situations. ~ Cineuropa

 

AWARDS

César Awards, France (2021)
Best Actor: Sami Bouajila

Victoria Film Festival, Canada (2020) 
Best Feature: Mehdi Barsaoui

Malmö Arab Film Festival (2020)
Best Actress: Najla Ben Abdallah

Kosmorama, Trondheim Internasjonale Film Festival (2020)
New Director's Award: Mehdi Barsaoui

Venice Film Festival (2019)
Best Actor: Sami Bouajila

Cairo International Film Festival (2019)
Arab Cinema's Horizons Award: Mehdi Barsaoui
Salah Abu Seif Prize: Mehdi Barsaoui
UNFPA Award: Mehdi Barsaoui

Hainan International Film Festival (2019)
Young Talent Award Winner: Best Feature Film 

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MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA
MYOPIA

MYOPIA

Regular price $395.00
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MYOPIA

Fatem, sixth month pregnant, leaves her village perched in the mountains, to fill a frame with empty glasses for the elder of her village, the only person who can decipher the letters sent by members of the villagers’ families who have gone to work in the cities. She moves from station to station to arrive in town in the middle of a protest. This will turn her trip into a peaceful revolution that she is hardly aware of.

Directed by Sanaa Akroud, Morocco 2020, 86min, drama, Arabic w/English subtitles

"A beautifully observed meditation on faith, perseverance and integrity, Moroccan director Sanae Akroud’s sophomore feature is an immersive and heart-breaking unique female saga. " ~ The Brazilian

"This film, which carries beautiful qualities of image and lighting, speaks of poverty, of the feminine condition and of a happiness so simple that one can hardly grasp its meaning nowadays. ~ La Presse

"Fatem is played by Sanaa Akroud, also the film's director. Akroud was in the acclaimed 2011 Egyptian film "Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story". In "Myopia" she is brilliant as our unsettlingly passive villager, whether inquiring about a letter from an absent husband or when wandering innocently through the city in search of an eyeglass shop." ~ Barbara Nimri Aziz

"She will be questioned by the police, defended by an association, interviewed by a journalist… She is accused of having endangered her baby, she is asked some of the most intrusive questions, but each person applies their own way of thinking - myopia of a society incapable of perceiving its difference. Agressive police officers falsely accused, activists urging her to press charges, sensationalist journalist who transforms news, even a listening minister… none understand that she only wants to fix the glasses." ~ Olivier Barlet

"It is in listening to these women that Sanaa Akroud wrote this script which she both interprets and directs. Apart from the interviews, she does it with few words. Wolfango Alfi's sequence shots respond to this desire to account for the time taken by everyday acts. They contribute to the open-mindedness called for by this film without a clear message, if not to invite people to understand that an equivocation is not a limit but a complexity." ~ Olivier Barlet

"This story is sure to resonate with many American viewers learning about the depth of racial disparities and the flaws in U.S. democracy where agents of ‘liberal’ society and opposition parties once again reach out to Black and Brown Americans and immigrants with shallow promises of equality and reform.Barbara Nimri Aziz

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TAZZEKA
TAZZEKA
TAZZEKA
TAZZEKA
TAZZEKA
TAZZEKA
TAZZEKA
TAZZEKA

TAZZEKA

Regular price $395.00
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TAZZEKA 

DIRECTED BY JEAN-PHILIPPE GAUD
FRANCE and MOROCCO / 2018 / FRENCH, ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 95 MIN

 

SYNOPSIS

Growing up in the Moroccan village of Tazzeka, Elias learned the secrets of traditional Moroccan cuisine from his grandmother who raised him. Years later, meeting a top Paris chef and a young woman named Salma inspires him to leave home.

 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Jean-Philippe Gaud
Starring: Madi Belem
Starring: Ouidad Elma
Starring: Olivier Sitruk
 

GENRES

  • Comedy/Drama 
  • Immigrant Experience
  • French Language
  • Staff Favorites
  • New Release 
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RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE
RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE
RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE
RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE
RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE
RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE

RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE

Regular price $295.00
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RACE AND IMMIGRATION IN EUROPE with BORDERS andTHE GLASS CEILING
Two films connecting Africa and Europe: Borders about the life of those Africans trying to slip illegally into Europe in search of a better life and The Glass Ceiling depicting stories of some of the challenges faced by European born children of African immigrants.

BORDERS

The story of Six men and a woman set out on the hazardous journey from Senegal to Morocco in a bid to slip illegally into Europe to escape from the poverty and internecine warfare of Africa. All are lured by the promise of a better life, but the challenges are numerous.
France/Algeria, 2002, 102 min, Drama, French with English subtitles, Mostefa Djadjam, dir.

THE GLASS CEILING

Europe’s racial make-up is quickly changing. French-Algerian filmmaker Yamina Benguigui is hoping to start a conversation about affirmative action - a policy that does not exist in France today. Benguigui’s Le Plafond de Verre / The Glass Ceiling presents a series of sometimes very emotional first-hand accounts of discrimination against mostly black and North African Arab who are trying to find jobs. The documentary offers poignant and revealing accounts of discrimination faced by these full-fledged French citizens who are also children of immigrant parents.
France, 2004, 90 min, documentary, French with English subtitles, Yamina Benguigui, dir.
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SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY

SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY

Regular price $295.00
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Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story Trailer from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY

DIRECTED BY YOUSRY NASRALLAH
EGYPT / 2009 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 135 MIN

SYNOPSIS

SCHEHERAZADE: TELL ME A STORY is a tale ripped from today’s headlines and yet a clever reference to the myths and lore of the Middle East. When her husband (Hassan Saeed) asks her to tone down the subversive political rhetoric on her program, Egyptian talk show host Hebba (Mona Zaki) draws even more heat by beginning a series that explores the experience of women in contemporary Egypt. As three women speak out about the mistreatment they've suffered in a deeply patriarchal society, Hoda must contend with her own disintegrating marriage. 

"Lively, swift, vibrantly colorful and for the most part wonderfully acted, the film is slyly aware of the daytime talk show as a vehicle for women's concerns." ~ The New York Times

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Yousry Nasrallah
Starring: Mona Zaki
Starring: Rehab El Gamal
Starring: Hassan El Raddad
 

GENRE

  • Drama 


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SINS OF THE FLESH / (HARAM EL GASAD)

SINS OF THE FLESH / (HARAM EL GASAD)

Regular price $345.00
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SINS OF THE FLESH (HARAM EL GASAD)

DIRECTED BY KHALED EL HAGAR
EGYPT / 2016 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 125 MIN

SYNOPSIS

From one of Egypt's most controversial and taboo-breaking filmmakers comes a drama of betrayal, passion and political upheaval. A year after the events that kicked off the Arab Spring, millions of Egyptians gathered to demand the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. The January protests lasted 18 days and saw numerous attempts by the government to silence dissent using censorship and violence. In his latest film, director Khaled El Hagar establishes a parallel narrative, in which an erotic and symbolic struggle for freedom plays out on a farm while the urban revolt serves as a backdrop.

Confined to a marriage of convenience, Fatma (Nahed El Sebai) is torn between tradition and a drive to rebel against her oppressive circumstances. Her desire for renewal is ignited when an escaped convict turns up seeking shelter. The affair is extremely transgressive, especially given the rigorous religious standards that underpin Egyptian society. Much like the undemocratic political establishment, the farm's master governs with terrifying impunity. The film caused a firestorm of media debate over freedom of expression in its home country. Ironically, even under the newer government, the film was censored and subjected to numerous edits before Egyptians could view it. It's a scathing critique of the establishment, building to an unflinching ending that questions where the revolution is headed and what it has accomplished. (VIFF)

"Outstanding both as neo-film noir and as penetrating examination of class relations in Egypt that help explain the continuation of capitalist oligarchic rule." ~ Louis Project

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Khaled El Hagar
Starring: Nahed El Sebai
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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FOREIGN BODY (CORPS ETRANGER)
FOREIGN BODY (CORPS ETRANGER)
FOREIGN BODY (CORPS ETRANGER)
FOREIGN BODY (CORPS ETRANGER)
FOREIGN BODY (CORPS ETRANGER)
FOREIGN BODY (CORPS ETRANGER)

FOREIGN BODY (CORPS ETRANGER)

Regular price $395.00
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FOREIGN BODY

DIRECTED BY RAJA AMARI
TUNISIA AND FRANCE / 2016 / ARABIC AND FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 92 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Seeking refuge from her Islamist radical brother whom she informed on, a young woman arrives in France illegally following Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution and discovers a new world of both hope and danger, in the fourth feature from writer-director Raja Amari (Satin Rouge, Buried Secrets).

In the turbulent aftermath of the Tunisian revolution, young Samia (Sarra Hannachi) flees her homeland. She braves hostile seas in the crossing to France, but once there she finds that her struggles have only just begun. With no friends, no family, and - most crucially - no immigration papers, Samia has to figure out how to make a life and a living in a foreign land.

She meets a young man, Imed (Salim Kechiouche, Blue is the Warmest Color), and soon finds work in the employ of the elegant Leila (the inimitable Hiam Abbass, subject of an In Conversation With event at the Festival this year). But her presence in Leila's middle-class household triggers a shift in its dynamics, and soon Samia is enmeshed in a web of sexual tension.

Timely as it is, Foreign Body seems to typify a media narrative of forced mass migration: desperate, distressing, impossible. The film transcends this sweeping, reductive thinking due to the way director Raja Amari immerses her camera in Samia's new reality. She shoots with a close, handheld aesthetic that makes abstraction and generalization all but impossible, bringing us the story of a unique young woman.

Hannachi portrays her character's inner turmoil brilliantly. Samia is sometimes ragged and sometimes refined, ranging from stoic to sensual, but this is not because she's unstable. Rather, it's because of her ability to change in response to different situations and environments - an ability born of necessity. This is a woman determined to survive at all costs.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Raja Amari
Starring: Sarra Hannachi
Starring: Salim Kechiouche
Starring: Hiam Abbass
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
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SHE HAD A DREAM
SHE HAD A DREAM
SHE HAD A DREAM
SHE HAD A DREAM
SHE HAD A DREAM
SHE HAD A DREAM

SHE HAD A DREAM

Regular price $395.00
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SHE HAD A DREAM - Young, Tunisian and Black

Ghofrane, 25, is a young Black Tunisian woman. A committed activist who speaks her mind, she embodies Tunisia's current political upheaval. As a victim of racial discrimination, Ghofrane decides to go into politics.

We follow her extraordinary path, ranging from acting on her ambition to be in politics to disillusion. Through her attempts to persuade both close friends and complete strangers to vote for her, her campaign reveals the many faces of a country seeking to forge a new identity.

In its own unique way, this documentary sheds light on the place of women and Black people in Tunisia's changing society.

Directed by Raja Amari, Tunisia, 2020, 90min, documentary, Arabic and French w/English subtitles

* IDFA 2020 - World Premiere

"Binous' determination to be an agent of change lends the film an engaging, upbeat energy that enhances its appeal..." ~ Screen International

"Effortlessly balancing the personal and the political - and the invisible line between them - the filmmaker offers a glimpse into the future of a better Tunisia through Binous's unique odyssey." ~ Film Inquiry

"As a Black woman from a working-class neighborhood in Tunisia, 25-year-old Ghofrane Binous has spent her whole life dealing with class inequality, racism, and sex discrimination. Following an extremely racist incident in 2018 while working as a flight attendant, she posted a cry for help on social media that was widely viewed, then joined a women’s movement and became politically active. The film follows this charismatic figure in the run-up to the 2019 national elections—during the turbulent campaign period, on the way to countless meetings, and in heated conversations with family members, friends, and party members.

The camera stays close to this young woman who is keen to perpetuate the myth of her own invulnerability—and maybe that’s exactly what she needs to do to rise to the top. The backdrop to her political ambition is a divided society where people have little confidence in their own democracy. Connecting it all is the voice-over in which Binous shares her vision of life, and her motivations for becoming politically active in a paternalistic, segregated society where women generally draw the shortest straw." IDFA

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ROTATING SQUARE

ROTATING SQUARE

Regular price $145.00
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ROTATING SQUARE 

DIRECTED BY AHMED HASSOUNA
EGYPT / 2002 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 14  MIN

SYNOPSIS

Sami and his wife Sarah are packing to move to the USA where they intend to open a restaurant. Rania, Sarah's sister, goes to their house to take them to the airport, but some unexpected and unforeseeable events take place in the apartment: games of seduction, murder and dead bodies to be disposed of. A surrealist comedy by Ahmed Hassouna who belongs to a new group of young promising Egyptian filmmakers. 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Ahmed Hassouna
Starring: Rasha Mahdy
Starring: Bassem Samra
 

GENRES

  • Surrealist Comedy 
  • DVD also includes film 100% Arabica
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100% ARABICA + ROTATING SQUARE
100% ARABICA + ROTATING SQUARE
100% ARABICA + ROTATING SQUARE
100% ARABICA + ROTATING SQUARE

100% ARABICA + ROTATING SQUARE

Regular price $245.00
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100% ARABICA

DIRECTED BY MAHMOUD ZEMMOURI 
FRANCE and ALGERIA / 1997 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN
 

SYNOPSIS

In a housing project located on the outskirts of Paris renamed "100% Arabica" by its inhabitants, African immigrants live side by side. The residents are united by their struggle for recognition in a society where immigrants are often regarded as second class citizens. In a world of exiles, poverty is the common denominator. Against this backdrop, director Zemmouri has brought together two of the biggest and most charismatic stars of the cross-cultural musical form known as Rai, Cheb Mami and Khaled, who play the leaders of a band called Rap Oriental. As the band of musicians starts to gain in popularity, the Imam of the local mosque (Mouss) tries to destroy them by stirring up racial and cultural tensions. However, no one can stop the infectious popularity of the songs in this story of music triumphing over bigotry and violence.
DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Mahmoud Zemmouri
Starring: Cheb Mami
Starring: Khaled
Starring: Mouss
 

GENRES

BONUS

ROTATING SQUARE 

DIRECTED BY AHMED HASSOUNA
EGYPT / 2002 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 14  MIN

SYNOPSIS

Sami and his wife Sarah are packing to move to the USA where they intend to open a restaurant. Rania, Sarah's sister, goes to their house to take them to the airport, but some unexpected and unforeseeable events take place in the apartment: games of seduction, murder and dead bodies to be disposed of. A surrealist comedy by Ahmed Hassouna who belongs to a new group of young promising Egyptian filmmakers. 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Ahmed Hassouna
Starring: Rasha Mahdy
Starring: Bassem Samra
 

GENRES

  • Surrealist Comedy 
  • DVD also includes film 100% Arabica
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SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE
SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE

SCHEHERAZADE, TELL ME A STORY + FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE & ROTATING SQUARE

Regular price $395.00
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Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story Trailer from ArtMattan Productions on Vimeo.

SCHEHERAZDE, TELL ME A STORY

DIRECTED BY YOUSRY NASRALLAH
EGYPT / 2009 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 135 MIN

SYNOPSIS

SCHEHERAZADE: TELL ME A STORY is a tale ripped from today’s headlines and yet a clever reference to the myths and lore of the Middle East.   When her husband (Hassan Saeed) asks her to tone down the subversive political rhetoric on her program, Egyptian talk show host Hebba (Mona Zaki) draws even more heat by beginning a series that explores the experience of women in contemporary Egypt. As three women speak out about the mistreatment they've suffered in a deeply patriarchal society, Hoda must contend with her own disintegrating marriage. Yousry Nasrallah directs this drama.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Yousry Nasrallah
Starring: Mona Zaki
Starring: Rehab El Gamal
Starring: Hassan El Raddad
 

GENRES

  • Drama 
  • Also features Fallen Angels Paradise

FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE
(GANNAT AL SHAYATEEN) 

DIRECTED BY OUSSAMA FAWZI
EGYPT / 1999 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 80 MIN

SYNOPSIS

A homeless man dies of an overdose in a popular Cairo neighborhood. He was once an ideal husband and represented security for his family. Then one day, everything changed. Upon his death his friends from the underworld drag the corpse around for a whole night of madness, drinking and hallucinating situations. A game with death where the dead man becomes more alive than the living and fallen angels live according to their own rules, laws and desires in the chaos of the Egyptian capital. The film is based on a famous short story written by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado. 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Oussama Fawzi
Starring: Mahmood Hemaidah
Starring: Lebleba
Starring: Caroline Khalil

GENRE

  • Dramatic Comedy
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NIGHT OF DESTINY

NIGHT OF DESTINY

Regular price $195.00
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NIGHT OF DESTINY 

DIRECTED BY ABDELKRIM BAHLOUL
ALGERIA AND FRANCE / 1997 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 96 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Sixty five years old Abdelkader Silimani, an Algerian Muslin living in France, after inadvertently witnessing a murder, closely escapes from the murderers by hiding out into a mosque. The black leather dressed masked murderers, with their firearms in hand, do not hesitate to enter the mosque full of praying men looking for the eyewitness. They leave empty handed but determined not to give up their search.

Detective Leclerc is assigned to the case. As he searches for the eyewitness who stays mute with fear, the detective slowly discovers the Northern Paris Muslim community and its traditions. For the first time, the French detective is exposed to the contradictions and challenges minority communities face as they struggle to live in a new culture with a different set of values and religious beliefs.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Abdelkrim Bahloul
Starring: Philippe Volter
Starring: Boris Terral
Starring: Gamil Ratib
 

GENRES

  • Thriller
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FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE (GANNAT AL SHAYATEEN)

FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE (GANNAT AL SHAYATEEN)

Regular price $195.00
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FALLEN ANGELS PARADISE (GANNAT AL SHAYATEEN) 

DIRECTED BY OUSSAMA FAWZI
EGYPT / 1999 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 80 MIN

SYNOPSIS

A homeless man dies of an overdose in a popular Cairo neighborhood. He was once an ideal husband and represented security for his family. Then one day, everything changed. Upon his death his friends from the underworld drag the corpse around for a whole night of madness, drinking and hallucinating situations. A game with death where the dead man becomes more alive than the living and fallen angels live according to their own rules, laws and desires in the chaos of the Egyptian capital. The film is based on a famous short story written by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado. 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Oussama Fawzi
Starring: Mahmood Hemaidah
Starring: Lebleba
Starring: Caroline Khalil
 

GENRES

  • Dramatic Comedy

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THE DESERT ARK

THE DESERT ARK

Regular price $295.00
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THE DESERT ARK 

DIRECTED BY MOHAMED CHOUIKH 
ALGERIA / 1997 / ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Romeo and Juliet in the Algerian desert. Amin and Myriam are secretly in love. Their families are rivals and when their relationship is discovered, conflict is inevitable. In the quiet atmosphere of the palm groves, the two communities have long nurtured the seeds of discord and hatred. The persecution is the first signal of inevitable evil. From inside the cave where they have taken refuge, the two young people hear the cries of a senseless murderous raid. A universal metaphor to denounce the horror of all extremist violence, The Desert Ark is a splendid and terrifying metaphor for a burning contemporary reality. 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Mohamed Chouikh
Starring:  Hacen Abdou
Starring: Messaouda Adami
Starring: Shyraz Aliane
 

GENRES

  • Epic Drama 
  • Part of 2 DVD set Great African Films Vol 3 with Daratt (Dry Season)
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THE OTHER WORLD (L'AUTRE MONDE)

THE OTHER WORLD (L'AUTRE MONDE)

Regular price $195.00
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THE OTHER WORLD (L'AUTRE MONDE) 

DIRECTED BY MERZAK ALLOUACHE
ALGERIA AND FRANCE / 2001 / ARABIC ND FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Yasmine and Rachid, two young Parisians children of Algerian immigrants, are in love and live a quiet life in France. One day, Rachid disappears and Yasmine learns that he is in Algeria. She decides to follow him, in that country that she does not know, that is filled with violence. As she travels looking for Rachid, she falls deeper into the horror of a country where nothing seems normal, another world, where death is ever present. She learns that Rachid was in a military convoy that was attacked by terrorists. Only two soldiers in the convoy survived. She can't believe Rachid is not one of them...

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Merzak Allouache
Starring: Marie Brahimi
Starring: Karim Bouaiche
Starring: Nazim Boudjenah
 

GENRES

  • Romantic Drama 
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THE GLASS CEILING (LE PLAFOND DE VERRE)

THE GLASS CEILING (LE PLAFOND DE VERRE)

Regular price $195.00
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THE GLASS CEILING (LE PLAFOND DE VERRE)

DIRECTED BY YAMINA BENGUIGUI
FRANCE / 2004 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 90 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Europe's racial make-up is quickly changing. French-Algerian filmmaker Yamina Benguigui is hoping to start a conversation about affirmative action - a policy that does not exist in France today. Benguigui's Le Plafond de Verre (Glass Ceiling) presents a series of sometimes very emotional first-hand accounts of discrimination against mostly black and North African Arab who are trying to find jobs. The documentary offers poignant and revealing accounts of discrimination faced by these full-fledged French citizens who are also children of immigrant parents.

"Now that I am out there looking for work, I cannot forget that I am not French like other French people."
— Nesrine Yahia

"Politicians in France are mostly horrified to even think about such policies ( implementing an American-style affirmative action program with quotas) because they go against what are called the values of the republic. I think that unless there is pressure from the ground up, politics in France will never change."
— Yamina Benguigui

 

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Yamina Benguigui
 

GENRES

  • Documentary 
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BEZNESS

BEZNESS

Regular price $195.00
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BEZNESS

DIRECTED BY NOURI BOUZID 
TUNISIA / 1992 / ARAB WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 100 MIN
Official selection, Cannes 1992

SYNOPSIS

"Bezness" takes place in one of Tunisia's beautiful coastline tourist cities. it tells the contemporary story of a young man trapped between Arab tradition and prostitution. Through this young man who dreams of escape, the Director, Nouri Bouzid, criticizes both the restrictions associated with what he calls "the hypocrisy of Islam" and the European ruling on Arab society.
In many ways, Bezness is the most provocative of all Bouzid’s films. It is the first Arab film to deal with explicitly gay themes, and to situate male prostitution within the context of forced female seclusion and gender segregation.” ~ Garay Menicucci, Middle East Research and Information Project
DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Nouri Bouzid 
Starring: Abdellatif Kechiche
Starring: Jacques Penot
Starring: Ghalia Lacroix
 

GENRES

  • Drama
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FEVERS / FIEVRES

FEVERS / FIEVRES

Regular price $295.00
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Fevers / Fievres

Directed by Hicham Ayouch, 2014, 90 min, France/Morocco/UAE/Qatar, French, drama, English subt.

Fevers, winner of FESPACO - Africa's largest film festival - 2015 grand prize, the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, is a French version of We Need to Talk About Kevin about a disturbed young man raised on foster care who enters his father's Muslim household in the suburbs of Paris and becomes a major source of disruption in the family.

At only thirteen, Benjamin is a little soldier at war with life, adults and with himself. Since the age of five, the troubled kid goes back and forth into foster homes. But when his mother goes to jail and reveals to Benjamin the existence of his father, the young boy is determined to get out of foster care. So when the social worker gives him the choice, he decides to go live at his unknown father's place.

Director's creative statement

Fevers could have been, filmed in any city, but I chose to shoot this story in a working class neighborhood. In terms of writing and directing the movie breaks stereotypes, it has a more modern and contrasted vision of that world.

In the suburbs, everything is intense, extreme and violence prevails as well, however there's also poetry and a great joy for life and as a storyteller that's what inspired me about it. The people living in this neighborhood are funny, easy to become attached to and especially human. That humanity is a beautiful cinematographic tool, because it holds emotions and, as a director, I only strive towards emotions.

The work on the picture has been carried out in the same poetical approach, I gave the image a soft grain noise in order for it to work in contrast with the story's toughness; I built a rather polished image with very well arranged shots so as to transport the audience to another dimension. Graphically. I worked a lot on the buildings architecture and on the lines in order to enhance their geometry. The idea was to make the tall buildings seem like living beings following the rhythm of the characters pulses.

The story is naturalistic, but I decided to go with very firm viewpoints in terms of light with a lot of contrasts and vivid colors. Work on the set decoration was carried out in that same optic, some walls were painted in green, blue or red, this way every character had a color that attunes to him. Lastly, the work on sound and music was also based on that same need for contrast, with the aim, here again, to transport the viewer to another universe.

Hicham Ayouch

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Hicham Ayouch
 
 GENRES
  • Drama 
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BORDERS (FRONTIERES)

BORDERS (FRONTIERES)

Regular price $295.00
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BORDERS (FRONTIERES)

DIRECTED BY MOSTEFA DJADJAM
FRANCE and ALGERIA / 2002 / FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES / 102 MIN

SYNOPSIS

Six men and a woman set out on the hazardous journey from Senegal to Morocco in a bid to slip illegally into Europe to escape from the poverty and internecine warfare of Africa. All are lured by the promise of a better life, but the challenges are numerous. Passing through the hands of various smugglers, they cross the desert of Mauritania and Algeria, first in a pick up, then in the back of refrigerated fish trucks, and are finally dumped and forced to walk to the Moroccan border. Though each is lured by a different reason, they unite to overcome obstacles and finally reach the coast of Morocco, where they stand looking at Spain across the narrow Straits of Gibraltar. On reaching Tangiers, the invisible travelers go their separate ways and prepare to attempt the fateful crossing to Spain.

Mostefa Djadjam's beautiful debut feature confronts the global controversy of refugees while examining the complexities of human nature. Djadjam, originally trained as an actor, gives a restrained, compassionate account of what is at stake for illegal immigrants, fashioning a stunning film for its subtleties about identity. He presents consistent moral questions, demanding judgment on the decisions and actions of his characters when even the most sympathetic become ruthless and callous in their quest for a better life. The trip in Borders is not easy for either the travelers or the viewer who must watch these sad all–too human beings endure physical and psychological hardships before attaining “freedom.” Not all the travelers succeed. Some find love – some manage to laugh. The viewer, meanwhile, gains a new understanding of the problems which confront Africa-and more importantly, Africans-today.

DIRECTOR AND CAST

Director: Mostefa Djadjam
Starring: Lou Dante
Starring: Clarisse Luambo 
Starring: Ona Lu Yenke 
 

GENRES

  • Drama
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