5 films from the Middle East not to miss this autumn

By Monique Rivalland 
 
With the BFI London Film Festival and Film Africa gracing London’s screens this autumn, there is no shortage of Middle Eastern talent on the city’s film circuit. Here are some of our favourites:

Microphone

Middle Eastern Film Egypt Culture

Microphone, 2011

Microphone is a multi-award winning film by Ahmad Abdalla that beautifully captures the rhythm of contemporary Egypt. It is a document of, and love-letter to, the vibrant, underground arts scene in Alexandria. Poetic and political, you are taken through the back-streets of a city where hip-hop, graffiti, rock ‘n roll, and skateboarding vie for prominence, as young artists struggle to find recognition in an ambivalent society.

Microphone is screening:

3rd November, 18.30 at The Ritzy (Including introduction and Q&A from co-producer and lead actor Khaled Abol Naga)

9th November, 18.30 at Hackney Picturehouse

To book tickets, click here

Where Do We Go Now?

Where Do We Go Now? is a story of female sense and solidarity crossing religious divides. In a remote Lebanese village, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side all their lives, largely in harmony despite the odd outbursts of rage between the menfolk. It is Nadine Labaki’s second feature following the success of 2007’s Caramel. Labaki herself stars in the film as the local café owner. Her cast, which consists of both professionals and local villagers, have been praised for their engaging and convincing performances. The film is characterised by a much welcomed optimism.

Where Do We Go Now? is screening:

27th October, 18.15 at Vue Cinema, Leicester Square

To book tickets, click here

Fragments

Moroccan film africa middle eastern culture

Fragments, 2010

Fragments is composed of footage shot over a decade. It tells the story of the Belabbes family in Morocco, reflecting on birth and death, home and exile, youth and age, expectations and failure. Profoundly personal, the film also provides compelling insight into contemporary Moroccan culture and society. The film was lauded at the 2011 Tarifa African Film Festival.

Fragments is screening:

4th November, 18.30 at The Ritzy

To book tickets, click here

Tahrir 2011: The Good, The Bad, and The Politician

This film is a powerful, moving and frequently funny account of the Egyptian revolution earlier this year. Few events have dominated news headlines this year as much as the revolution in Egypt which began so suddenly and unexpectedly in January. In Tahrir 2011, Egyptian producer Mohammed Hefzy assembles three of the country’s most talented emerging directors to document the seismic events that held their country, and much of the world, in thrall. The film is split into three: The Good (Tamer Ezzat), The Bad (Ayten Amin) and the Politician (Amr Salama), each of the sections directed by a different talent in very different styles. Tahrir 2011 is must-see for anyone who spent any time in late January and February glued to their TV waiting for history to unfurl before their eyes.

Tahrir 2011 is screening:

26th November, 21.00 at British Film Institute

27th November, 13.00 at British Film Institute

To book tickets, click here

Lenin’s Children

Set in the jubilant climate of recently independent Tunisia, Lenin’s Children focuses on the Communist Party in the 1960s and 70s, and paints a moving portrait of the men and women who, as twenty year olds, fought for their dream of a free society in which all people would be considered equal. Necessary viewing for those who would seek to understand better the history behind the recent Tunisian uprising and the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, the event which sparked the Arab Spring.

Lenin’s Children is screening:

11th November, 19.00 at Frontline Club

To buy tickets, click here

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