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Middle East

Global Lens titles from the Middle East.

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Excuse My French
Director: Amr Salama
Egypt   |   2014   |   99 mins
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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12-year-old Hany tries to fit in at his new governmental school after his father suddenly drops dead, leaving his mother in debt and unable to continue to afford his private education. Not only is Hany clearly from a more privileged background than the working class boys in his new class, but he is also the only Christian in a room full of Muslims Learn More
MODEST RECEPTION (Paziraie Sadeh)
Director: Mani Haghighi
Iran   |   2012   |   100 minutes
Farsi/Persian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Leila and Kaveh are a mysterious pair from Tehran, traveling the mountainous countryside in their Lexus coupe to push big bags of money on the locals. This turns out to be not so easy, but fascinating to watch, as the cagey couple invent increasingly brazen stratagems to place cash in the hands of the wary, proud or indifferent. Will they push things too far? Are they losing sight of their mission? What exactly is their mission? Led by riveting performances from Taraneh Alidoosti and writer-director Mani Haghighi, this bold comedy-drama unfurls with unexpected force amid subtle themes of power, privilege and corruption.


About the Director Mani Haghighi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1969. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from McGill University in Montreal, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Guelph and a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies from Trent University in Peterborough. His second feature, Men at Work, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2006 and won Best Screenwriter at the Asian Film Awards in 2007. Modest Reception is his fourth feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 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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Voice Of My Father
Director: Orhan Eskikoy
Turkey   |   2012   |   88 mins
Turkish, Kurdish, with subtitles in English
$16.99
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Dir. Orhan Eskiköy and Zeynel Do?an, Turkey, GFI grant 2011.
As Neyzel, an expectant father, prepares for the birth of his child, he gradually begins to excavate memories of his childhood through audio-taped “letters” that his father sent home while working overseas—but that his mother insists do not exist. Learn More
MOURNING (Soog)
Director: Morteza Farshbaf
Iran   |   2011   |   85 minutes
Persian, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis From a black screen, a man and a woman are heard arguing and hurrying away from a house. Afterward, the screen radiates brilliant green countryside, traversed by a small black car. Subtitles relay a conversation by another man and woman, but now we hear no voices. Kamran and Sharareh, a deaf couple, are driving Sharareh’s young nephew, Arshia, back home to Tehran. Something terrible has happened. But the couple keep the news from Arshia, debating his future in a language not as private as they believe, and turning a car trip into a subtly humorous and deeply compassionate meditation on communication and emotional disability.


About the Director Morteza Farshbaf was born in Gonbad-e Qabus, Iran in 1986. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film from the University of Art in Tehran and has been working as a director, writer, editor and cinematographer since the age of 18. He has directed five short films (Halloween, The Carpet, Taxi, Flakey and The Wind Blows Wherever it Wants) and has also worked with acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. Mourning is his first feature film.


Available Screening Formats DVD, Digibeta.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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TOLL BOOTH (Gise Memuru)
Director: Tolga Karaçelik
Turkey   |   2010   |   96 minutes
Turkish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A taciturn tollbooth attendant shuffles between a suffocating home life with his ailing father and the monotony of the box where he works. Desperate to resist his father’s attempt to marry him off while determined to prove his worth by fixing his family’s broken-down car, he drives himself toward a nervous breakdown. After a reassignment to a desolate country road, he begins a flirtatious relationship with a woman who drives by each day. But is this salvation for the aging bachelor, or the further unraveling of his mind? An expert cast and keen art direction contribute to this wry, heartbreaking ode to lost dreams in a sleepwalking world.


About the Director Tolga Karaçelik was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1981. After receiving his law degree from Marmara University, he studied film at New York Film Academy. His short film, Rapunzel, received the Audience Award for short films at the SOHO International Film Festival in 2010. He also wrote and directed the music video for Çelik Çomak by the Turkish band Gevende. Toll Booth is his first feature film.


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


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Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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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.


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


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Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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10 to 11
Director: Pelin Esmer
Turkey   |   2009   |   110 mins
Turkish, with subtitles in English
$16.99
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A friendship between an aging collector and his doorman leads to an unusual exploration of class and privilege in modern Istanbul.
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MY TEHRAN FOR SALE
Director: Granaz Moussavi
Iran   |   2009   |   95 minutes
Farsi and English, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In this riveting, insider’s perspective on life in Iran’s capital city, Marzieh—a terminally ill actress—wearily relates her desperate quest for political asylum through a series of interviews with an unsympathetic government official. Beginning with details of her doomed relationship with an Iranian-born Australian and their plan to relocate to Adelaide, she recounts her struggle to work as an actress under Iran’s current regime, her hope for a future ultimately dashed by the devastating discovery of her illness, and her need to “escape” the only home she has ever known. Set against the backdrop of Tehran’s thriving arts culture, and framed through a series of artful and dramatic flashback sequences, poet-turned-filmmaker Granaz Moussavi boldly registers the trials of a modern woman struggling to flourish in Iran’s contemporary political climate.

About the Director Granaz Moussavi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1974. She received a degree in Screen Studies from Flinders University and a postgraduate degree in Film Editing from the Australian Film Television and Radio School. She is the author of four collections of avant-garde poetry and has directed and edited several short films and documentaries. My Tehran For Sale is her first feature film.

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

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DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.

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THE WHITE MEADOWS (Keshtzar Haye Sepid)
Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
Iran   |   2009   |   93 minutes
Farsi, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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ON DVD: January, 8th, 2013


Synopsis In this dreamlike yet earthbound film, Rahmat the boatman navigates the increasingly brackish waters of a coastal land, collecting the heartaches and tears of its inhabitants. But he remains powerless against their misguided attempts to appease the gods and make the land green again, whether by offering a bride to the sea or forcibly “treating” the eyes of a painter who sees in different colors. Drawing firsthand on the challenges faced by Iranian artists of today, writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof’s deeply atmospheric and poetical film is a gorgeous allegory of intolerance, brutality and mystified routine that resonates far beyond any one state’s borders.


About the Director Mohammad Rasoulof was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1972. He received a degree in Sociology from Shiraz University and studied film editing at the Sooreh University in Tehran. His first feature film is the docudrama The Twilight, and his second feature, Iron Island, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. He also directed Head Wind, a documentary about the restrictions currently imposed in Iran on using satellites and the Internet. The White Meadows is his third feature film.


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


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Featured in the Global Lens 2011 film series.

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