With this 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’. Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World consists of sixteen classic and new documentaries examining life in a range of Arab countries as seen from the perspective of makers from the region. The selection includes such films as Raed Andoni's Ghost Hunting(Palestine/France, 2017), China Is Still Far Away by Malek Bensmaïl (Algeria, 2008), 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.
From November 17-19 2017, festival venue De Kleine Komedie will host the extensive program of film screenings and discussions. On Wednesday November 22 and Thursday November 23 2017 Podium Mozaïek and Tolhuistuin will present a selection of films with their own extended program.
Mohamed Siam | Egypt, Lebanon, Germany, France, Norway, Denmark, Qatar | 2017 | 83 min.
Also selected for the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary.
Usama Ghanoum | Syria, Egypt, Germany | 2017 | 48 min.
Also selected for the IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary.
China Is Still Far Away
Malek Bensmaïl | France, Algeria | 2008 | 120 min.
Mohamad Soueid | Lebanon | 2002 | 84 min.
A Flood in Baath Country
Omar Amiralay | France | 2004 | 47 min.
Raed Andoni | France, Palestine, Switzerland, Qatar | 2017 | 94 min.
Also part of the Best of Fests section.
Homeland: Iraq Year Zero
Abbas Fahdel | Iraq, France | 2015 | 334 min.
In My Father's House
Fatima Jebli Ouazzani | The Netherlands | 1997 | 67 min.
Letters to S.
Layla Abyad | Switzerland, Syria | 2015 | 12 min.
The Misfortunes of Some
Omar Amiralay | France, Lebanon | 1982 | 52 min.
The Mulberry House
Sara Ishaq | Yemen, Syria, Egypt, United Arab Emirates | 2013 | 65 min.
On Photography, Dispossession and Times of Struggle
Akram Zaatari | Lebanon | 2017 | 37 min.
Ali Essafi | France | 2001 | 57 min.
Step by Step
Ossama Mohammed | Syria | 1978 | 23 min.
The Virgin, the Copts and Me
Namir Abdel Messeeh | France, Qatar | 2012 | 85 min.
A World Not Ours
Mahdi Fleifel | United Kingdom, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Denmark | 2012 | 93 min.