São Paulo film festival includes Arab movies

18 de outubro de 2017

São Paulo – With fifteen Arab productions in the program, the 41st São Paulo International Film Festival has its opening screenings this Thursday (19) afternoon in several movie theaters in São Paulo and some other cities in the state. Organized by the Brazilian Association for the International Film Festival (ABMIC), the festival has, among local and foreign films, works by renowned directors and short and feature films awarded in other festivals throughout the world.

One of the highlights at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Lebanese documentary A Feeling Greater Than Love (Shu'our akbar min el hob), by director Mary Jirmanus Saba, go back to a point in time in Lebanon’s history in which the country, narrowly, avoided a social revolution. In the 1970s, two strikes by workers urged the population, but were cut short by the civil war. The movie mixes images of the Lebanese politically-charged cinema with interviews of the workers and farmers in the current times, and asks a question to the past: how to transform the present?

Also from Lebanon, in a partnership with the United Arab Emirates, the documentary Those Who Remain (Mayyel Ya Ghzayyel) tells the story of Haykal, a 60-year-old Christian farmer that fights for his land in a geopolitically complex place North of Lebanon, a few kilometers from Syria.

From Algerian director Narimane Mari, Le Fort des fous make use of archives of the first expeditions by French colonists in North Africa and shows an imaginary community of young nomads created to ponder on the new appropriations of the historical accounts.

In fiction, Withered Green (Akhdar Yabes), the directorial debut by Egyptian director Mohammed Hammad, tells the story of Iman, a religious and conservative young woman that gets annoyed by others’ opinions about her but, when faced with a discovery, decides to abandon all the traditions to which she have held on to.

Qatar has no less than eight films, all of them co-productions with other countries. The highlight is Looking for Oum Kulthum, which tells the story of a filmmaker that’s planning a movie about Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum, who paid a steep price for becoming successful in a male-dominated society.

There’s also a free screening of a production from Sudan in partnership with the United States, We Who Remain. The short feature follows the lives of the people living in the middle of the war of the Sudanese government against the Sudan’s People Liberation Army in the Nuba mountains. The movie will be screened many times at the Cinesesc Auditorium at Augusta street, from December 19 to November 1.

The full program of the 41st São Paulo International Film Festival can be found here. The festival will run from October 19 to November 1 and tickets can be purchased online or in the theaters – in the case of free events, tickets will be distributed one hour before the screening.

Quick info

41st São Paulo International Film Festival
From October 19 to November 1

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani