Dearborn, Mich. — An annual festival of movies from the Middle East is screening films rarely seen in the United States. The Arab American National Museum in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn is hosting the 2013 festival that runs from Jan 24-26.
The schedule includes "1/2 Revolution," a personal look at a group of friends living in Cairo during the first days of the Egyptian uprisings that were part of the Arab Spring.
Other films include tales from Morocco, Pegase (Pegasus), Lebanon, Teta (Grandma), the West Bank and Gaza, Private Sun, Jordan, Here, and more.
All screenings take place in the museum's auditorium. Tickets are available in advance online or at the door.
2013 Arab Film Festival
January 24-26, 2013
Arab American National Museum
Lower Level Auditorium
13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn MI 48126
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013
Dir: Merva Faddoul
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:
2011 Doha Tribeca Film Festival
2011 National Geographic All Roads
2011 Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
Habibi Rasak Kharban (Darling, Something's Wrong with Your Head)
Dir: Susan Youssef
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, Dubai Int'l Film Festival
"The end will leave you breathless and wondering" - Huffington Post
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2013
Dir: Nour Wazzi
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)
Dir: Mahmoud Kaabour
2010/UAE , Qatar, Lebanon
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, by her grandson/director Mahmoud Kaabour, documents her 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
4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013
Dir: Rami Alayan
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
Dir: Mohamed Mouftakir
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 Moroccan cinema wave; this is his first feature. Arabic w/ English subtitles.
Winner, Golden Stallion of Yennega Prize, 2011 Pan African Film Festival (FESPACO)
"...gripping and emotionally moving story which leaves much to be discovered underneath, to satisfy those who want to (and can) read into its underlying symbolism."
- Vanessa McMahon, FilmFestivals.com
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013
Dir: Reem Munir Katami
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.
Dir: Omar Shargawi, Karim El Hakim
This is a personal story from the Arab Spring: a group of friends living in downtown Cairo struggle to stay together during the first chaotic days of the Egyptian Revolution. It's the first film that considers the January 25 uprising an incomplete revolution. In English.
Official Competition, 2011 Dubai Int'l Film Festival
Official Selection, 2012 Sundance Film Festival
"Almost diary-like in its intimacy, 1/2 Revolution is a thrilling first-person action movie empowered by immediacy." - Eric Kohn, IndieWire.com
Click here for more info on attending the 2013 Arab Film Festival.
All screenings take place in the 156-seat Auditorium on the Lower Level of the Arab American National Museum (AANM), 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, Michigan.
Detroit News/Associated Press, and Arab American Museum