Boston events. For the first time ever, MFA Film presents a survey of the very best contemporary films being produced in the Arab region of North Africa and the Middle East. For an introduction to Arab cinema or for experienced fans, this mini-festival is not to be missed. Co-presented with the Boston Palestine Film Festival.
Boston events. June 2-5 2016.
Theeb by Naji Abu Nowar (Jordan/UAE/Qatar/UK, 2015, 100 min.). Nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, this Arab Western follows a young boy, Theeb, as he makes a perilous trek across the Ottoman Empire desert in 1916. As war rages in the Middle East, Theeb’s mission to guide a British officer to his secret destination is threatened by bandits, enemy soldiers, and the natural hazards of the desert climate.
Thursday, June 2nd 7:00 pm. Sunday, June 5th 12 pm.
A Syrian Love Story by Sean McAllister (UK/France/Lebanon/Syria, 2015, 80 min.). Amer and Raghda met in a Syrian prison cell 15 years ago. He first saw her bloodied face after a beating when she was placed in a neighboring cell. Over several months they communicated – and fell in love – through a tiny hole they’d secretly made in the wall. When released, they got married and started a family. This intimate portrait tells the story of a family torn apart by the tyrannical Assad dictatorship, helping us to understand why people are literally dying for change in the Arab world.
Friday, June 3rd 6:00 pm. Saturday, June 4th 4:00 pm.
As I Open My Eyes (A peine j’ouvre les yeux) by Leyla Bouzid (Tunisia/France/ Belgium/UAE, 2016, 102 min.). Tunis in the summer of 2010, a few months before the Arab Spring: eighteen-year-old Farah passes her Baccalaureat exam, and her family insists that she pursue a career as a doctor. But Farah, who sings in an activist rock band, is awakening to the thrills of her city at night. Her controversial music draws the attention of police, setting her on a path that her family never intended.
Friday, June 3rd 8:00 pm. Saturday, June 4th 10:30 am.
In the Last Days of the City (Akher ayam el madina) by Tamer El Said (Egypt/Germany, 2016, 118 min.). Downtown Cairo, 2009: A 35 year old filmmaker named Khalid is struggling to make a film that captures the soul of his city while facing loss in his own life. With the help of his friends, who send him footage from their lives in Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin, he sets out to create a requiem for a city in pain.
Saturday, June 4th 1:00 pm. Sunday, June 5th 2:30 pm.
Tickets may be purchased starting on May 26 at mfa.org/film, by calling the MFA Ticketing Line at 800.440.6975, or in person at any MFA ticket desk. Tickets are $9 for members, $11 nonmembers, and $5 for students at local universities.
The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is funded by the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation.
Film at the MFA is sponsored by Bank of America.
The Media Sponsor is The Boston Globe.