Monday, October 4, 2010

Women Directors from North Africa and the Middle East

La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua

This week the International House is screening a series of films by women directors from North Africa and the Middle East. Organized by Patricia White (Swarthmore) and Suzanne Gauch (Temple), the series complicates the vision the West and in particular American cinema often has of Middle-Eastern societies and women's role in them. And, in the process, we get to see work that's otherwise tough to see. I have seen A Door to the Sky, a lyrical and avowedly spiritual film, the only one here to be screened on 35mm. At first it resists the narrative and aesthetic expectations I had brought from both conventional narrative and art cinema, but ultimately I valued the challenging aesthetic voice. I am eager to see other work in the series.

All screenings introduced by Patricia White. Full descriptions at the International House site.

Thursday, October 7 at 7pm
Passage (Shirin Neshat, US/Iran, 2001, 12 mins)
A Door to the Sky (Farida Ben Lyazid, Morocco, 1989, 107 mins)

Friday, October 8 at 7pm
Brick Sellers of Kabul (Lida Abdul, US/Afghanistan, 2006, 6 mins)
La Nouba des femmes de Mont-Chenoua (Assia Djebar, Algeria, 1977, 115 mins)

Saturday, October 9 at 2pm
Souha (Randa Chahal Sabbag, Lebanon, 2001, 57 mins)
Our Heedless Wars (Randa Chahal Sabbag, France/Lebanon, 1995, 61 mins)

Saturday, October 9 at 5pm
Measures of Distance (Mona Hatoum, UK, 1988, 16 mins)
Women Without Men (Shirin Neshat in collaboration with Shoja Azari, France/Germany, 2009, 95 mins)

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