Arab Focus: powerful films that demand your attention
Two screenings, one for animated films, the other for live action. Together, they show us the enduring nature of a strong inner spirit.
If there’s one thing that the majority of these films have in common, it is that they depict characters with fortitude, who desire to be free. These people face hardships and have the will and the strength to push past them.
In Samir Syriani’s live action film Contact, we only hear the voice of this character; through an audio diary taken by the protagonist – a sniper who kills refugees and pilfers their belongings. Her struggles, her conviction, and love for her son changes the protagonist’s perspective. Jalal Magnout’s animated film “Suleima” tells the story of a woman who fights in the Syrian revolution, with remarkable fearlessness and passion.
The characters in these films are searching for freedom. The word carries various interpretations in each film, to each character, but ultimately freedom means the ability to live your life and make your own choices without restraint. An old man finds the will to leave his life of isolation in Aladdin Abou Galen’s animated film Diaspora. A girl breaks free from her overbearing father in Mahdi Ali Ali’s live action short Amphitheater. In Goin South, a film by Mohammed Alhamoud, a woman who has made a daring stylistic choice remains resolute despite the troubles it could cause for her new marriage.
The films in both programs are as powerful as the people whose stories they tell.