The Center for Arabic Culture Film Screening Program
To see what we have planned for Spring 2014, please click here.
Fall 2014 Film Screenings
Beverages, snacks and Middle Eastern sweets will be served
The CAC will be celebrating Egyptian Award-Winning Director Youssef Chahine:
Critically acclaimed Egyptian film director and producer Youssef Chahine was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1926. After university in Alexandria he traveled to Los Angeles, California to study acting. Upon returning to Egypt Chahine entered the film industry as a director, launching his first feature film in 1950 at age 23. His second film, Ibn an-Nil (Son of the Nile) resulted in his first invitation to the Cannes Film Festival in 1951.
Chahine is also credited with discovering and launching the career of actor Omar Sherif.
Chahine once said of his work, “I make my films first for myself. Then for my family. Then for Alexandria. Then for Egypt.” His work touched on controversial topics, from criticism of Egyptian society to homosexuality and what was considered anti-Americanism in a post-9/11 world. Despite being controversial, his films rendered him Arab cinema’s most celebrated director.
“If the Arab world likes them, ahlan wa sahlan (welcome). If the foreign audience likes them, they are doubly welcome.” In fact they did, and Chahine was awarded the Cannes Film Festival’s lifetime achievement award in 1997.
Al Mohajer (The Emigrant)
Friday October 3, 2014 – 7:30 pm
Filled with beautiful location shots of Egyptian ruins and lush re-enactments of decadent cult rituals, The Emigrant is a fascinating retelling of the biblical tale of Joseph, told from an Egyptian perspective. Ram (“Joseph”), tired of his family’s backward superstitious life and bullying brothers, wants to travel to Egypt to study agriculture. His brothers travel with him across the Sinai but suddenly sell him to an Egyptian who works for a regional military leader. Ram soon finds himself a pawn in the political and sexual games between Amihar and his wife Simihit, a high priestess of the Cult of Amun.
Al Maseer (Destiny)
Friday November 14, 2014 – 6:30 pm
The story is set in the 12th century in Arab-ruled Spanish province Andalusia, where famed philosopher Averroes is appointed grand judge by the caliph and his liberal court judgments are not liked by everyone especially the caliph’s political rivals, centered around the leader of a fanatical Islamic sect. It is a story about love, music, religion, power and destiny.
Al Akhar (The Other)
Friday December 19, 2014 – 7:30 pm
Egyptian director Youssef Chahine exposes the links between power and fanaticism and denounces intolerance in this bitter portrait of the Egyptian business world, where unconditional drive for money rules. Adam (Hani Salama), the son of a rich businessman, and his American wife meet Hanane (Hanane Turk), a journalist of modest means at the airport on his return from studying in the US. She is part of a campaign against a wealthy elite, which has thrived on plundering its own people. Corruption is everywhere in the country and American interests are taking over the lucrative tourist trade. Adam’s rich parents and their friends in the government are at the heart of this corrupt system. 52nd Cannes Film Festival, 1999.
Join us for these great events at the CAC – 191 Highland Avenue, Unit 6B, Somerville, MA
Free and open to the public!
In the Spring we will be featuring
legendary Lebanese singer Fairouz and the Rahbani Brothers!
For a full list of Spring 2015 films, please click here.