Middle East Now

Middle East Now, a unique event to dip into cinema, art and culture of the Middle East region. An out of the mainstream take on people from the Middle East through the best up-and-coming filmmakers, the most hard-hitting stories. This year the 10th edition will take place from April, 2 to April, 7 in Florence and will be inspiring as always. Cinema from Middle East will be represented with 44 films, 6 Italian premieres, 10 international premieres, a focus dedicated to Iranian cinema and to Asghar Farhadi, one of the most acclaimed filmmaker of contemporary cinema.

 

KABUL CITY IN THE WIND by Aboozar Amini – A poetic well-crafted film from a city where life runs against all odds. Kabul as seen through the daily lives of two kids and a bus driver, set against the background of a city destroyed by political and religious powers. An impressive dip, into the chaos of Kabul, into its energy, its contradictions, its proud. Abas is fighting every day to keep his worn-out bus alive in the midst of traffic chaos. Afshin must take over the role of father for his brother as their father exiled in Iran. Kabul is still covered by the dust of countless years of conflict, but life continues for its inhabitants who wait for the wind to turn.

HUMANITY ON TRIAL by Jonas Bruun – A young Dane Salam travels to Greece to rescue refugees from the Aegean Sea. But one night while trying to find a refugee family lost at sea, Salam is arrested and charged with human trafficking. If he is convicted, he might spend the rest of his life behind bars in a Greek prison. The verdict will decide: Is saving lives a crime in Europe?

DIVINE WIND by Merzak Allouache – A young man , Amine and an enigmatic woman who are called upon by extremists to perform an armed action against an oil-refinery in the Algerian Sahara. Although they have no prior connection, the duo become inexorably and intensely linked. As their bond deepens, their mission is put at risk. The power of love in a as poetic as political story

UNDERDOWN by Sarah Kaskas – Beirut, Lebanon, the outspoken taxi driver Abu Hussam is doing his best to survive. His dream is to find a roof above his head. A runaway Syrian boy named Ali has chosen to live alone on the streets. Other people struggle to make it through against the backdrop of the caotic Beirut.

A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME by Sahra Mani – Since 2009 in Afghanistan sexual abuse against women is criminally prosecuted. Only a few women however have the courage to report these cases  fearig the possible consequences. Khatera, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, was abused repeatedly throughout her childhood. He got her pregnant several times, so she had a number of abortions and eventually gave birth. On the advice of a mullah she told her story on a TV program, where she appears pregnant again. With great courage she forces her father to stand trial. A powerful story of one woman’s battle to give voice to thousand women.

YOU ONLY DIE TWICE by Yair Lev – Who was Ernst Beschinsky really? A Jewish detective story revolving around the former President of the Jewish Community in Tyrol, Ernst Beschinsky. A man with this name dies twice – once in 1969, in Israel, and a second time in 1987, in Innsbruck.  His grandson, the Israeli documentary filmmaker Yair Lev, starts on his way to find out who had stolen his grandfather’s identity.

FREEDOM FIELDS by Naziha Arebi – Emboldened by the Arab Spring, the Libyan women’s soccer team is dreaming of playing their first international game. However, their sport faces huge opposition in Libya. Over the course of several years while the country descends into civil war, they keep pursuing their dream experiencing disillusionment in searching new models for a new generation of girls.

HEADS AND TAILS by Aylin Kuryel and Firat Yucel – The curious hair trade between Turkey and Israel. Two Turkish-Israeli women, Coya and Sima, get the tails of hair from male hair traders in Turkey and sell them to wig makers in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak. Orthodox Jewish women cover their heads with the wigs made of the hair that once belonged to women in Anatolia.

AMRA AND THE SECOND MARRIAGE by Mahmoud Sabbagh – A lively comedy, a nuanced critique of social and religious conservatism in Saudi Arabia. Amra, a 44-year-old housewife, discovers that her retiring husband is planning to marry a younger second wife. In her attempts to comprehend this new reality, her life begins to unravel as she is pushed towards a hefty compromise

HENDI & HORMOZ’  by Abbas Amin – Set against a gorgeous backdrop of navy blue and Persian red on the coast of Hormuz. The Iranian island has a rich supply of haematite, though few of its inhabitants profit from the red gold. 16-year-old Hormoz is consoled by the prospect of hiring on at the strip mine as he is married off to 13-year-old Hendi. Alas, the young man finds the doors of opportunity shut tight. When Hendi becomes pregnant Hormoz enters into an ominous pact with a smuggler in order to ensure his family’s livelihood.

TEHRAN, CITY OF LOVE by Ali Jaberansari – A tragicomedy for three disenchanted characters: an ex-champion bodybuilder, an overweight beauty clinic secretary and a dispirited religious singer, yearn for love and connection in Tehran, where individual freedoms can’t be taken for granted. tragicomedy.

CAPHARNAÜM by Nadine Labaki – A 12 year-old boy, sentenced to five years detention for stabbing “a son of a dog”. in front of the judge Zain sues his parents for having brought him into the world. Set in the slums of Beirut the devastating survival story of a child who didn’t ask to be born. Zain lives with parents and lots of siblings in an apartment characterized by chaotic squalor. All the kids are put to work on the street. Zain runs away from his family joining Rahil an an Ethiopian cleaning woman illegally in Lebanon without papers. Together they plan to leave the country for Sweden.

 

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