Resistance(s): Experimental Films from the Middle East and North Africa (2000-2009)

Zoulikha Bouabdellah - Dansons (Algeria/France (2003)
Taysir Batniji - Transit (Palestine/France (2004)
Mounir Fatmi - Dieu me pardonne (Morocco/France (2001-2004)
Lamya Gargash - Wet tiles (UAE (2003)
Usama Alshaibi - Allahu Akbar (Iraq/USA (2003)
Jayce Salloum - Untitled part 3b: (as if) beauty never ends (Lebanon/Canada (2003)
Frédérique Devaux - K3 (Les femmes) (Algeria/France (2003)
Waël Noureddine - Ça sera beau = From Beyrouth with love (Lebanon/France (2005)
Mireille Astore/Fabian Astore - 3494 Houses + 1 Fence (2006)
Basma Alsharif - We Began By Measuring Distance (2009)
Larissa Sansour - Run Lara Run (2008)
Ismail Bahri - Resonances (2008)
Halida Boughriet - Les Illumines (2007)
Danielle Arbid - This Smell Of Sex (2008)
Waheeda Malullah - Coloured Photograph
Khaled Hafez - Revolution (2006)
Nazim Djemai - La Parade De Taos
Katia Kameli - Nouba (2000)
Bouchra Khalili - Straight Stories. Part 1 (2006)
Al Fadhil - Iraqi Brothers. Amer & Nasser (2003)
Zineb Sedira - Don't Do To Her What Yo Did To Me (2001)
Joude Gorani - Avant De Disparaitre (2005)
Nesrine Khodr - I Swam In The Sea Last Week (2003)
Pauline M'barek - Géographie Imaginaire (2005)
Jalal Toufic - Saving Face (2003)
Nassim Amaouche - Quelques Miettes Pour Les Oiseaux (2005)

Resistance[s] examines the diversity (multiculturalism (political and cultural vitality of the region of North Africa and Lebanon. However (in reality these portrayals extend across cultures and politics to enjoin all peoples. The nine short films incorporate in an experimental fashion political and cultural issues in an ascetic and pragmatic dialogue. Photos (visuals and use of light add a poetic dimension to these films. These elements accompanied by narrative (other sounds (and in some instances (silence (allowed this viewer to side step both time and space to “connect with” inner feelings that must accompany the need for free expression and social intercourse.

Perhaps in summarizing the central message that runs through these films (director Danielle Arbid says it best; “we all resist in order to be ourselves.” While keeping this consistency in mind (watch each film for unique themes. In considering each theme I categorized them as follows:

Violence has no boundary,
The need for open communication and receptive cooperation is critical for humanity,
Basic human reflection on life where drowning in our surroundings may harness our lives,
Life’s race is singular in purpose and goal (but varied by pathways toward these purposes and goals,
People share common interests and needs that sometimes call for forceful change,
Common lives and common grounds serve human needs (but for needs to be satisfied people must be able to not only see (but to be able to grasp the horizon sought,
Individual liberty arises in context of common liberties,
Life has mystique (and how we are illuminated defines how others define us (and how we define ourselves,
Lives of people must connect in order to be fulfilled.
Regardless my conclusions and the understanding I gained from these unique films (I submit that you may develop many varied understandings in context of your own life. I will not divulge which of these films provided me the meaning I suggest above; rather I challenge the viewer to make their own analysis. Perhaps all viewers will be challenged by these filmmakers to reconsider what it is about life that inspires people to seek identity (both collectively and individually. These films challenge us to think about life and our location in space and time in relation to all other segments of humanity. Not all viewers will seek this level of viewer involvement (but for those who do (the experience will be like the method the directors use; experiential and vibrant.