IDFA presents focus program on daily life in the Arab world

At the upcoming festival, IDFA is presenting the focus program Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World, which will zoom in on the image of the Arab world through the eyes of filmmaker from the region.

With the program of films and debates IDFA offers a counterbalance to Western stereotypes that ignore the complexity of the Arabic-speaking world and keep ‘the Arab’ at arm’s length, as ‘the other’. The program consists of 15 classic and new documentaries examining life in a range of Arab countries as seen from the perspective of makers from the region. 

The films selected for Shifting Perspectives include Ghost Hunting (Palestine/France, 2017) by Raed Andoni, which won the Glashütte Original Documentary Award at the last Berlin Film Festival. Other films selected include Abbas Fahdel’s family chronicle Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (Iraq/France, 2015) and China Is Still Far Away (Algeria, 2008) by Malek Bensmaïl, which deals with Algerian identity and the legacy of the French colonial past. The classic documentaries The Misfortunes of Some (France/Lebanon, 1982) and A Flood in Baath Country (France, 2004) by Omar Amiralay show life in Lebanon during the civil war, as well as Syria before its civil war.

The screenings will be followed by extensive discussions with the filmmakers during a weekend-long program in festival venue De Kleine Komedie between Novemvber 17-19.

Ghost Hunting

  • Raed Andoni
  • 2017
  • 94 min

In accurately reconstructed prison cells, Palestinian former prisoners re-enact their own suppressed memories. Poignant and confrontational.