Arab Film Fest Returns Thursday to Dearborn

Check out the lineup of films to be shown this weekend at the Arab American National Museum.

Fans of Arabic-language movies and adventurous filmgoers seeking new perspectives can see recent films from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Qatar and UAE during the 2013 Arab Film Festival, held Jan. 24-26 at the Arab American National Museum

The museum is located at 13624 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.

The AANM’s Arab Film Festival offers individual packages, each consisting of a short film and a feature-length film. Genres include documentary, drama, comedy and animation. While most titles are in Arabic, all films include English subtitles, making them accessible to a general audience.

Tickets for each package are $9, or $7 for museum members. Tickets are available in advance online at www.arabamericanmuseum.org and at the door.

All screenings take place in the intimate 156-seat Auditorium on the Lower Level of the museum. Free, lighted parking is available in the municipal lot behind the museum. Enter the lot by turning north from Michigan Avenue onto Neckel Street, immediately west of the AANM.

Here's a look at the lineup:

Thursday, Jan. 24

7:30 p.m.

Teta (Grandma)

Director: Merva Faddoul
24 min.

Set in Byblos, an historic town in Lebanon with a prominent Maronite Christian community, a family’s life is turned upside down when their iconic Virgin Mary statue sheds tears. Stars Mimi Farah, Chantal Zailaa and Anna Maria Saad. Arabic w/ English subtitles.

An Official Selection of the 2011 Doha Tribeca Film Festival; 2011 National Geographic All Roads Film Festival; and 2011 Twin Cities Arab Film Festival

Habibi Rasak Kharban (Darling, Something’s Wrong with Your Head)

Director: Susan Youssef
85 min.

Two students in the West Bank are forced to return home to Gaza, where their love defies tradition. To reach his lover, Qays grafittis poetry across town. It’s a modern re-telling of the famous ancient Sufi parable Majnun Layla. Arabic w/ English subtitles.

FIPRESCI Prize, Best Arab Feature Film, Best Actress, Best Editor – 2011 Dubai Int’l Film Festival

Friday, Jan. 25

7:30 p.m.

Habibti (Darling)

Director: Nour Wazzi
2010/United Kingdom
16 min.

Based on a short story by Academy Award® nominee Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) and Lebanese director Nour Wazzi, Habibti follows Iman (Hiam Abbass, The Visitor, Lemon Tree), a conservative Arab woman who travels to London to visit her estranged daughter and is shocked to find her living with her boyfriend, a black artist. Arabic w/ English subtitles.

Teta, Alf Marra (Grandma, A Thousand Times)

Director: Mahmoud Kaabour
2010/UAE, Qatar, Lebanon
50 min.

Teta Fatima is the 83-year-old matriarch of the Kaabour family and the sharp-witted queen bee of an old Beiruti quarter. With great intimacy, the film, made by her grandson/director Mahmoud Kaabour, documents Teta Fatima’s larger-than-life character as she struggles to cope with the silence of her once-buzzing house and imagines what awaits her beyond death. Arabic w/ English subtitles.

Audience Award, Best Documentary, 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival

Best Film, 2011 London Int’l Documentary Film Festival

Saturday, Jan. 26

4 p.m.

Private Sun

Director: Rami Alayan
25 min.

Mariam (Shadeen Saleem) is instructed by her doctor to sunbathe in order to reverse the vitamin D deficiency that is causing her bone illness. But with nosy neighbors, an overbearing sister-in-law and Israeli surveillance planes, private moments under the sun are precious and rare. Arabic w/ English subtitles.

REMI Special Jury Award, 2012 Worldfest-Houston Int’l Film Festival. Premio de Genero, 2012 FENACO-Peru

Pegase (Pegasus)

Director: Mohamed Mouftakir
104 min.

A young woman (Majdoline Drissi), traumatized by her dictatorial father’s insistence she be raised as a boy, finds herself the unwitting patient of a psychiatrist intent on learning the truth behind the girl’s story. Reality turns into a haunted fever-dream of fear and denial in this visually striking psychological thriller. Moufkatir is considered a leading voice in the New Wave of Moroccan cinema; this is his first feature-length effort. Arabic w/ English subtitles.

Winner, Golden Stallion of Yennega Prize, 2011 Pan African Film Festival (FESPACO)

7:30 p.m. Saturday


Director: Reem Munir Katami
2 min.

In a barbaric political regime, who is the real prisoner—the guard who reinforces the policies of the oppressor, or the one behind bars? This animated short examines the dialogue between an advocate for the right of civilians to demonstrate peacefully for basic human rights and the enforcer of laws. Arabic w/ English subtitles.

1/2 Revolution

Directors: Omar Shargawi, Karim El Hakim
72 min.

This is a personal story from the Arab Spring: A group of friends living in downtown Cairo struggles to stay together during the first chaotic days of the Egyptian Revolution. It’s the first film that considers the Jan. 25, 2011 uprising an incomplete revolution. English, Arabic, French and Danish w/ English subtitles.

Official Competition, 2011 Dubai Int’l Film Festival. Official Selection, 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

For further information, call 313-582-2266, or visit www.arabamericanmuseum.org.


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