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Middle East

Global Lens titles from the Middle East.

Items 11 to 20 of 25 total

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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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THE FISH FALL IN LOVE (Mahiha Ashegh Mishavand)
Director: Ali Raffi
Iran   |   2006   |   96 minutes
Farsi, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Atieh's singular passion is food, and her small but popular restaurant on the sleepy Caspian coast is her pride and joy. But when Aziz, her former fiancé, appears after a twenty-year absence, the women believe he has intentions of closing the restaurant, so Atieh prepares his favorite dishes, one after the other, in a desperate effort to convince him otherwise. Loosely based on the Persian fable of Shahrazad and the Thousand Myths (A Thousand and One Nights), director Ali Raffi uses the language of food to paint a richly textured portrait of life and love on the northern coast of Iran.

About the Director Ali Raffi was born in Isfahan, Iran in 1938. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Sociology, and B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Dramatic Arts from the Sorbonne University. He also holds a Higher Diploma in Film and Stage Direction from the International Theater University in France, and a Diploma of Acting from Charles Dulain in France. He was the head of the City Theater in Tehran from 1975 to 1978, the dean of the Dramatic College from 1977 to 1980, and currently teaches at Tehran University. He has staged numerous theater productions, and has experience as a performer in multiple films and TV programs. The Fish Fall In Love is his first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.


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ENOUGH! (Barakat!)
Director: Djamila Sahraoui
Algeria, France   |   2006   |   94 minutes
Arabic, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Set in war-torn Algeria in the 1990s, Enough! follows two women on the dangerous search for the younger woman's husband, a journalist whose writings resulted in his disappearance. Both women represent anachronisms in Islamist Algeria: the younger woman is a doctor, the older a nurse with vivid memories of Algeria's fight for independence. Ignoring curfews and the constant threat of ambush by armed militias, the two women challenge the men they encounter to accept them and help them with their search. Their journey leads them across the picturesque landscapes of Algeria, to a deeper understanding of how their lives were shaped by their country's history.

About the Director Djamila Sahraoui was born in Algeria in 1950, and has lived in France since 1975. After studying literature in Algeria, she studied filmmaking at l'IDHEC in Paris. Her early short films include Houria (1980), Avoir 2000 ans dans les Aurès (1990), and Prénom Marianne (1992). Sahraoui's documentaries, La Moitié du ciel d'Allah (1995), Algérie, la vie quand même (1998) and Algérie, la vie toujours (2001), explore conditions in Algeria during the decade of civil war. She was awarded the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs prize in 1997. Enough! is her first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.


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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
Director: Faouzi Bensaïdi
Morocco   |   2006   |   94 minutes
Arabic and French, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Souad is a prostitute whose best friend is Kenza, a tough traffic cop. Kamel is a stony-eyed contract killer who receives his hit orders via the Internet; he is also Souad's favorite customer. When Kenza falls in love with Kamel, the two begin a bizarre courtship doomed by their disparate lines of work, and a persistent cyber-snooping hacker who stumbles upon the site where Kamel receives his murderous contracts. Moroccan actor-director Faouzi Bensaïdi's promiscuously stylish film is a new vision of an old culture, unveiling an uncommon Casablanca caught in a world wide web of associations and consequences.

About the Director Faouzi Bensaïdi was born in Meknes, Morocco in 1967. After studying at the Rabat Institute of Dramatic Art, he began his career directing for the stage, and in 1997, he directed his first short film, The Cliff. His two subsequent shorts, The Wall and The Rain Line, won prizes at the Cannes International Film Festival, and the Venice International Film Festival. His first feature film, A Thousand Months, premiered in 2003. What a Wonderful World is his second feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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THOSE THREE (An Seh)
Director: Naghi Nemati
Iran   |   2007   |   80 minutes
Farsi and Turkish, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Just one day from completing their military training, three conscripts desert their camp and escape into the frozen wilderness of Northern Iran. Travel through this mountainous, snowbound region is dangerous, but "those three" opt for the independence it promises and must now forge their way through an uncertain landscape, with only friendship to see them through. In this austere and mesmerizing debut feature, director Naghi Nemati's attention to the minutiae of human relationships is a quiet and deliberate meditation on the value of responsibility, connection and sacrifice.

About the Director Naghi Nemati was born in Ardebil, Iran in 1977. He is a graduate of Film Directing from Soureh College of Isafahan. In 1993 he began making short films, the first of which, Like The Umbrella of the Kids, received several awards and screened successfully at festivals worldwide. He has enjoyed a multifaceted career in film, having held several different positions, including scriptwriter, editor, actor and photographer. Those Three is his first feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 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.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2011 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.

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DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 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.


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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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NOW PLAYING: Check the film calendar for current screenings.


Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.

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Items 11 to 20 of 25 total

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