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Films by Region

The Global Lens Series annually features eight to ten narrative feature films from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East that are presented to audiences in theatrical locations across the United States and Canada.

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QARANTINA
Director: Oday Rasheed
Iraq   |   2010   |   90 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A broken family under an incestuous patriarch lives uneasily within the gated courtyard of a dilapidated Baghdad house. The pregnant daughter has fallen silent, finding some protection from the patriarch’s young second wife and his preteen son. Meanwhile, hard up for money, the household must live with a sullen and imperious boarder, a contract killer. In such a house, though, it may be that freedom and safety actually lie beyond the gates. Iraqi filmmaker Oday Rasheed’s second feature gorgeously captures contemporary Baghdad’s moody interior and stunned atmosphere, echoed in performances by a formidable cast who suggest unexpected resilience in the wake of catastrophe.


About the Director Oday Rasheed was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1973. He founded the production company Enlil Film and Arts and co-founded the Iraqi Independent Film Centre, an educational center in Baghdad for young filmmakers. His first feature film, Underexposure, received the Best Film Award at the Singapore International Film Festival in 2005, the Golden Hawk Award at the Arab Film Festival Rotterdam in 2005 and the Best Script Award at the Oran International Arab Film Festival in 2007. Qarantina is his second feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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ABOUT 111 GIRLS (Darbare 111 Dokhtar)
Director: Nahid Ghobadi and Bijan Zamanpira
Iraq   |   2012   |   79 minutes
Farsi/Persian and Kurdish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A government official, carrying a message from Iran’s president, travels across Iranian Kurdistan with his driver and a young guide on a mission to stop 111 young Kurdish women from committing suicide in protest against conditions that have left them spinsters. Racing against the clock, they travel into territory simmering with resentment at official neglect and the hardship it has sown among a proud people. Against a dramatically colorful physical and human landscape, wistful longing mingles with dreamlike desire and absurdist humor as the three travelers meander helplessly in a land riddled with contradictions.


About the Directors Nahid Ghobadi was born in Baneh, Iran in 1964. She studied librarianship at Tehran University and film at Columbia College Hollywood, is a published poet and has directed nine short films and documentaries. About 111 Girls is her first feature film. 


Bijan Zamanpira was born in Sanandaj, Iran in 1965. He studied Persian
language and literature at Payame Noor University in Tehran and has directed eleven short films and documentaries. About 111 Girls is his first feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 film series.

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KILOMETRE ZERO
Director: Hiner Saleem
Iraqi Kurdistan and France   |   2005   |   96 minutes
Arabic, French and Kurdish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A story of ethnic conflict between Kurds and Iraqis in the context of the war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s. The central story of the film is set at a time when Kurds were conscripted to serve in the Iraqi army, where they were brutally abused, as a despised minority in Saddam Hussein's military. Kilometre Zero pairs a Kurdish soldier, under orders to return the body of a dead soldier to his family, with an Iraqi taxi driver who will drive them cross-country to the dead soldier's home. Scenes between the men, in the close quarters of their truck, are interwoven with scenes of often comic incompetence of Iraqi soldiers and officers.

About the Director Hiner Saleem was born in Acna, Iraqi Kurdistan, in 1954. He fled to Italy by way of Syria in 1971, to escape the oppression of Saddam Hussein, and has lived in Paris for the past ten years. He is a fervent advocate for the rights of the Kurdish people, and regards April 9, 2003, the day of the fall of Saddam Hussein, as the most beautiful day of his life. Saleem was honored as Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the government of France in 2005. His films include Beyond Our Dreams (2000), and Vodka Lemon (2003), for which he won the Contro Corrente Grand Prize at the 2003 Venice Film Festival. His Long Live the Bride...and the Liberation of Kurdistan (1997) won the prize for best script at the Angers Film Festival. Kilometre Zero (2005) was selected for competition at the Festival Cannes 2005.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.


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THIRST (Atash)
Director: Tawfik Abu Wael
Israel/Palestine   |   2004   |   110 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis After one of his daughters "shamed" him, Abu Shukri brought his family to the edge of nowhere, to scratch out a living by burning wood to make charcoal. When he decided that the family would build a pipeline to bring in running water, he set off a chain of events that alters life irrevocably. A masterfully shot tale of repression and control in a harsh landscape that examines the dynamic of power within a family stretched to the breaking point. Working with a cast of first-time actors, director Tawfik Abu Wael crafts a story that is both archetypal and yet deeply rooted in the social conflicts of the Middle East.

About the Director Tawfik Abu Wael was born in the Palestinian town of Um El-Fahim in Israel, in 1976. He graduated from Tel Aviv University, where he studied film directing, and worked in the film archive from 1996 to 1998. He taught drama at the Hassan Arafe School in Jaffa from 1997 to 1999. His previous works include the shorts Bread (1997), Hashish and the Moon (1997), and Diary of a Male Whore (2000), and the documentary Waiting for Sallah El-Din (2001). Thirst is his first feature film, it won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2006 film series.

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SONG FROM THE SOUTHERN SEAS (Pesn' Juzhnykh Morej)
Director: Marat Sarulu
Kazakhstan   |   2008   |   80 minutes
Russian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, live side by side in relative harmony in a beautiful yet semi-desolate region of the Great Steppe. But when the fair-skinned Russians give birth to a boy of decidedly darker skin, fifteen years of suspicion and acrimony arises between them, and can only be resolved by an ironic twist of family and fate. At times darkly somber, at other times tender and wistful—and buoyed throughout by a soundtrack of folk-inspired melodies—writer-director Marat Sarulu draws on Kazakhstan's epic history to create a gritty and deeply compassionate tale of humor and cultural insight.


About the Director Marat Sarulu was born in Talas, Soviet Union (now Kyrgyzstan) in 1957. He graduated with a degree in Philology from Kyrgyz National University in Bishkek in 1980 and subsequently studied at the Moscow Cinema Academy. He is co–writer of the internationally successful feature film, Beshkempir and currently works as a writer and director. Song from the Southern Seas is his third feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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STUDENT
Director: Darezhan Omirbayev
Kazakhstan   |   2012   |   90 minutes
Kazakh and Russian, with subtitles in English
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Synopsis A solitary philosophy student steers his directionless life toward the commission of a violent crime, spurred on by postmodern musings and a post-Soviet order characterized by growing inequality, institutional corruption and a ruthless ethic of “eat or be eaten.“ Inspired by Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, director Darezhan Omirbayev roots his nameless student in the losing segment of Kazakhstan’s new capitalist era, whose population watches the rich rise above common legal proscriptions and old-fashioned communal values. Omirbayev’s brooding protagonist may prove the willing student of the age, but he alone reckons with the consequences of his actions—a gesture strikingly at odds with a world losing a consistent concept of justice.


About the Director Darezhan Omirbayev was born in the Dzhambul Province of the Soviet Union (now Kazakhstan) in 1958. His debut feature, Kairat, won the Silver Leopard and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Locamo Film Festival in 1992, and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Strasbourg Film Festival in 1993. His third feature, Killer, won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998. Student is his sixth feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 film series.

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THE LIGHT THIEF (Svet-Ake)
Director: Aktan Arym Kubat
Kyrgyzstan   |   2010   |   80 minutes
Kyrgyz, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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On DVD: Summer 2012


Kyrgyzstan’s official submission to the 2010 Academy Awards


Synopsis In this colorful modern-day parable of good and evil, a humble village electrician devotes his compassion and ingenuity to destitute neighbors in a wind-swept valley of Kyrgyzstan. Played with wry humanity by writer-director Aktan Arym Kubat, the trusting Mr. Light strikes a suspect bargain with a rich developer running for local office, as unemployment threatens the survival of the community. Stoking a dream to supply wind-generated electricity to the whole valley, the modest visionary comes up against an increasingly dark cloud of corruption in this affecting tale of solidarity and ordinary decency amid the injustices and hardships of a changing world.


About the Director Aktan Arym Kubat was born in 1957 in Kyrgyzstan. He graduated from the Art Academy in Bishkek and started working as a production designer in the 1980s. His second feature film, The Swing, won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1993, which was followed by The Adopted Son, which won the Silver Leopard at the same festival in 1998. In 2001, he was nominated for the European Film Academy (EFA) Discovery Award. The Light Thief is his fifth feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2011 film series.

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THE KITE (Le Cerf-Volant)
Director: Randa Chahal Sabbag
Lebanon   |   2003   |   80 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Lebanon’s official submission to the 2003 Academy Awards

Synopsis In director Randa Chahal Sabbag's fairytale for troubled times, sixteen-year old Lamia must cross a border checkpoint between Lebanon and Israel to marry a man she has never met. Neither she nor her betrothed are eager to consummate a marriage to a stranger matter further complicated by Lamia's surprising admission that she is in love with the Israeli soldier guarding the border. Sabbag's enchanting drama about marriage and tradition is underscored by delicate symbolism and artful references to politics of Lebanon's territories that have been annexed.

About the Director Randa Chahal Sabbag was born in Tripoli, Lebanon. She studied film at the University of Vincennes and the School of Louis Lumiére in France. She directed numerous documentaries, short films, and television programs before her first feature film, Sand Screens (1991). Her second feature film, A Civilized People (1998), a black comedy about the Lebanese Civil War, was censored in Lebanon. She refused to make edits to her film that the Ministry of Interior's military censors proposed, which resulted in her being vilified in the press and her family receiving death threats. In 2004, she was awarded with the nation's highest honor, a Chevalier of the Order of the Cedar, for her contributions to Lebanon. The Kite is her third feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.

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IN THE BATTLEFIELDS (Dans les Champs de Bataille)
Director: Danielle Arbid
Lebanon   |   2004   |   90 minutes
Arabic and French, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Daughter of self-destructive parents, Lina, 12, doesn’t show much interest in the war taking place around her in 1980’s Beirut. Instead, Siham, her aunt’s beautiful adolescent maid, is the focal point of her rebellious and neglected childhood. As the basis for the girls’ relationship shifts, issues of loyalty and power set off a series of events, which isolate Lina even more. Unlike films in which the violence of an urban war zone motivate a family to strengthen their ties, in this film, director Danielle Arbid depicts, instead, relationships that are shattered by passion, reprisal and guilt.

About the Director Danielle Arbid was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1970. She studied literature and journalism in Paris, and worked for several years as a journalist. Her short films include, Raddem (Demolition, 1998) and Le Passeur (1999). Her documentaries include Alone with War (2000), On the Borders (2002) and Stranger (2002). In the Battlefields is Arbid’s first feature film.

Featured in the Global Lens 2006 film series.



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I AM FROM TITOV VELES (Jas Sum Od Titov Veles)
Director: Teona Strugar Mitevska
Macedonia   |   2007   |   102 minutes
Macedonian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Macedonia’s official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards

Synopsis Set in the quaint but scarred town of Veles, three sisters long to escape the suffocating environment of their dying community. Burdened by memories of their late father, each chooses a different path: Sapho struggles to secure a visa to Greece, Slavica desperately searches for a rich husband, and Afrodita harbors hopes for love and children. In this contemporary story of urban decay, director Teona Strugar Mitevska blends stark realism with memorable performances to create a vivid landscape of life and longing in post-communist Macedonia.

About the Director Teona Strugar Mitevska was born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1974. As a child she acted in television, commercials, theater and radio dramas; she later trained as a painter and obtained her BA in Graphic Design. In 1998, she enrolled in the MFA film program at New York University's Tisch School of Arts. Her first feature film, How I Killed A Saint, screened successfully at festivals around the world. I Am From Titov Veles is her second feature film.

Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.



Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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Items 61 to 70 of 96 total

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