Dublin Arabic Film Festival, in partnership with the Irish Film Institute, has announced its line-up for 2016. All of the films were released in 2016 so they each offer a fresh perspective. Last year the festival screenings sold-out so there is a clear demand for the cinema of the Arabic World in Dublin. This year’s programme covers such issues as the conflict between traditional and modern values in Arabic countries, the place of women in what are predominantly patriarchal societies and the lasting impact of the Arab Spring (a wave of protests, demonstrations and civil wars which spread through the Arab World from 2010 onwards).
11/11/16 at 8PM
DAFF opens on Friday the 11th of November with Clash (which also opened the UN Certain Regard strand at Cannes this year). Clash focuses on a group of men with differing political views thrust together in the back of a police van during the riots that broke out after President Morsi of Egypt was unseated by a military coup. Director Mohamed Diab juxtaposes the claustrophobia of the setting with the strained atmosphere to great effect.
12/11/16 at 2PM
On Saturday the 12th, After Spring will be shown. After Spring is a documentary about the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world which has over 80,000 inhabitants. Co-directors Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez humanise the Syrian refugees in this slice-of-life documentary.
Next up is Hedi, a romantic drama which explores the disconnect between traditional and contemporary values in Tunisia. The titular Hedi would fit right in with the unfortunate characters of Failure to Launch; he is failing as a travelling car salesmen and accepting an arranged marriage he doesn’t want for the sake of his strong-willed mother. Will his life change when he meets Manic Pixie Dream Girl Rym?
13/11/16 at 2PM
Sand Storm will be screened on Sunday the 13th of November. First-time director Elite Zexer explores complex issues around tradition and honour in a Southern Israeli Bedouin community.
DAFF concludes with As I Open My Eyes, set on the eve of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. The film tells the story of eighteen year old Farah, a rebellious singer in a politically charged rock band at odds with all forms of authority – including her submissive mother Heyet.
Dublin Arabic Film Festival runs from the 11th-13th of November. Book tickets here.