Safar: A Journey Through Popular Arab Cinema
The Arab British Centre, in partnership with the ICA and Dubai International Film Festival, presents Safar, the most ambitious programme of popular Arab film ever seen in the UK.
A truly original programme for British cinema-goers, this week-long series of classic and contemporary cinema takes audiences on a journey of gripping dramas, subversive comedies and exaggerated melodramas, taking in an array of re-mastered cinematic masterpieces and new releases.
With this programme, we explore a fifty-year period of filmmaking that demonstrates the diversity and complexity of Arab cinema. Focusing on Egyptian cultural production (as the historical epicentre of Arab cinema), the programme also includes recent popular hits from Lebanon and Jordan.
The series avoids presenting cultural stereotypes without shying away from controversy. Instead, Safar: A Journey Through Popular Arab Cinema invites audiences to experience local popular culture and debate film’s effectiveness in conveying social histories. With so many Arab countries in the midst of restructuring themselves both politically and socially, it seems more urgent than ever to give these films a platform in the UK.
Book three or more tickets for different screenings for £8 each.
Omar Kholeif is an Egyptian-born, UK-based writer, curator and producer.
Writer in Residence
London-based journalist writer and editor Malu Halasa is our writer-in-residence. Read her posts in the run-up to the festival on the ICA Blog.
The Arab British Centre wishes to thank the following for their support, without which Safar would not have been possible:
Corinthia Hotel, Dubai International Film Festival & Mohammad S Farsi Foundation
The Abdalla Foundation
Livingstone & Company
Egyptian National Film Center
Egyptian Embassy, London
27 September 2012
An eye-catching construction, the Yacoubian Building in Cairo was long regarded as the last word in comfort and elegance. Nowadays, the veneer has cracked and the shine has dulled to reveal the truth underneath the façade. Post-screening Q&A with director Marwan Hamed.
26 September 2012
The only Egyptian film in recent memory to be led by an all female production team, One-Zero is a multi-strand narrative melodrama set on the eve of the 2008 Africa Nations Cup final. Post-screening Q&A with Khaled Abol Naga, star of One-Zero
23 September 2012
Alexandria, Why? focuses on a precocious adolescent whose dreams and colourful attempts to become an actor unfold against the vivid backdrop of Alexandria during World War II. Introduced by Omar Kholeif, curator of Safar.
23 September 2012
Directed by Salah Abouseif – one of Egypt’s significant realist filmmakers – the film charts the life of a modest Egyptian family after their patriarch’s death. Boasting one of the most notorious endings in Arab film history, this 35mm of The Beginning and the End is not to be missed.
22 September 2012
A politically charged family melodrama set in northern Beirut, 1976. It follows bride-to-be Noha who sneaks off to the woods with her lover and discovers something devastating that changes her mind completely and forces her to take control of her own life.