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Alexandria Trilogy * The Apple * Arab and Jew: Wounded spirits in a promised land * Al-Ard (The Land) * Art of cinema in Iran * Al-ASIFA = LA TEMPETE * Autour de la Maison Rose * Bab el-Oued City * Badkonak Sefid (White Balloon) * Battle for the Holy Land * Be Yade Iran (Memory of Iran 1 & 2) * Behind the Veil: Afghan Women under Fundamentalism * Beirut to Bosnia : Muslims and the West * Blackboards* Book of Kings 'Shahnameh' / ZaZ a * * Boycott* The Bridge: How the Medicine of the ancient Greeks Came Back to Europe Through the World of Islam * Bye Bye * Children Of Heaven * Chronicle of a Disappearance * The Circle * Close up* Coup * Cover-Up: Attack On The USS Liberty * The Cyclist * The Day I Became a Woman * Al-Dhakira = La memoire * Divorce Iranian style * The Dupes * Halq Al Wad (Un ete a la Goulette) * Fatimah * The Girl With The Running Shoes * The Guests of God * Googoosh Series * The Hajj : a journey of faith. The Hajj mission of a lifetime * Hollywood Harems * Hunting bin Laden * IRANIA "Glory of the Past" * Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization * Islam: A Closer Look * Islam & democracy, women in Islam, Shari'ah Islamic law * Islam: Empire of Faith * Islamic conversations * The Islamic mind / with Seyyed Hossein Nasr * The Islamic wave * Jihad in America* Jomeh * Khaneh, ye doust kojast [Where is my friend's house?] * Last Images of War * Lebanon... Imprisoned Splendor *Leila * Life and nothing more (Zendegi va digar hich) [And Life Goes On] * Living Islam * Looking For Answers (Frontline) * Al-Makhdu°un = The Dupes * Marriage of the blessed * The Message : the story of Islam * Mosque * Muhammad : the voice of God * al-Mujtama` al-madani yuwajih al-istibdad : Munazarah bayna al-Duktur Sad al-Din Ibrahim wa-al-Rais al-Libi Muammar al-Qaddafi * Muslims (DVD) PBS Frontline Documentary * Muslims in America: Islam in Exile * Muslims in America: the misunderstood millions * Nargess * Nasser 56 * Noce en Galilée = `Urs al-Jalil [WEDDING IN GALILEE] * NOW WITH BILL MOYERS * On Their Own (Reham's Story) * The Ottoman Empire * The Pedlar * The Runner * Saidi fi al-Gamaa al-Amrikiya * Samt al-qusur = [The silences of the palace = Les silences du palais] * El Sebou : Egyptian birth ritual * Sema of Peace: Sacred Dance of the Whirling Dervishes: A Video Presentation * Shahnameh * Smell of camphor, fragrance of jasmine* Spiritual dimensions * Spying on Saddam * Standard Arabic : An Advanced Course * *Ta'm e guilass* Taste of cherry * Tales from Arab Detroit * Thartharah fawqa al-Nil * A Time for drunken horses * Traditional Persian Art Music: The Radif of Mirza Abdollah * Trail of a Terrorist: The Ominous Lesson of Ahmed Rassam * Travellers [Mosaferan] * Umm Kulthum : a voice like Egypt * al-°Usfur = The Sparrow * Wars in peace : Iran-Iraq; Afghanistan * West Beirut * When the world spoke Arabic = Lorsque le monde parlait arabe * Zinat * Zendegi va digar hich = Life and nothing more * Audio Books

Last update 4/2/2002

Alexandria Trilogy

Producer, director and writer, Youssef Chahine; director of photography, Mohsen Nasr ; editor, Rashida Abd el Salam ; music, Dr. Gamal Salama. Originally produced as a motion picture in 1982 by Misr Film International. Number of discs: 3 (DVD).

Iskanderiya... lih?

[Also Known As: ALEXANDRIA...WHY? (1979) = Alexandrie pourquoi?]

Production, Youssef Chahine for Misr International Films ; direction, Youssef Chahine ; screenplay, Youssef Chahine and Mohsen Nasr ; cinematography, Mohsen Nasr ; editing, Rashida Abdel Salam ; music, Fouad El Zaheiry. Ezzat El Alaili ; Naglaa Fathi ; Mohsen Mohiedine ; Farid Shawqi ; Gerry Sundquist ; Mohsena Tawfik ; Originally produced as a motion picture in 1978. DVD 1 videodisc (ca. 133 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. New York, NY : WinStar TV & Video, c2000.

Set against the panoramic backdrop of war-torn Egypt, director Youssef Chahine tells a highly personal tale of love and determination. Amid the poverty, death and suffering caused by World War II, 18 year-old Yehia, retreats into a private world of fantasy and longing. Obsessed with Hollywood, he dreams of one day studying filmmaking in America, but after falling in love and "discovering the lies of European occupation," Yehia profoundly reevaluates his identity and allegiances.

(Olin PN1997 .I85 2000)

Hadduta Misriya [Memory]

[Also Known As: La memoire = AN EGYPTIAN STORY (1982)]

Oussama Nadir, Mohson Mohieddine, Nour El Charif. Producer, director and writer, Youssef Chahine; director of photography, Mohsen Nasr ; editor, Rashida Abd el Salam ; music, Dr. Gamal Salama. In Arabic, with subtitles in English; credits in French and Arabic. Originally produced as a motion picture in 1982 by Miòsr Film International. DVD: New York, NY : WinStar TV & Video, c2000. 1 videodisc (ca. 127 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

Famed Egyptian director Yehia [Youssef Chahine] falls ill with a heart condition that requires surgery. During the operation, a child embodying his conscience accuses him of betraying his ideals. A metamorphic trial ensues in which various witnesses offer their testimony about "the defendant." These proceedings force the filmmaker to come to terms with hidden emotions involving his life, his work and his country. Yehia's conscience loses the trial and a redundant organ is expelled from his body. But will this loss be fatal?

(Olin PN1997 .D433 2000)

Iskandiriya, Kaman wa Kaman = Alexandrie encore et toujours

[Also Known As: Alexandria Again and Forever (1990)]

Misr International Films ; Paris Classics Productions ; La Sept ; director-screenwriter, Youssef Chahine ; producers, Marianne Khoury, Humbert Balsan. Alexandria again and forever. Credited cast overview: Youssef Chahine (Yehia) ; rest of cast listed alphabetically : Zaki Abdel Wahab (Guindi) ; Menha Batraoui (Gigi) ; Taheya Cariocca (Tahia) ; Hussein Fahmy (Stelio) ; Amr Abdel Guelil (Amr) ; Amina Rizk ; Yousra (Nadia). In Arabic, with subtitles in English; credits in French and Arabic.Originally produced as a motion picture in 1989 by Misr Film International. DVD: New York, NY : WinStar TV & Video, c2000. 1 videodisc (ca. 105 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

This complicated and surreal autobiographical film, explores the personal life and fantasies that have shaped the motion pictures of Youssef Chahine. Taking a stand for democracy, Yehia (Chahine's on-screen alter ego) joins a hunger protest which has rallied infatuation for Amir, the young actor whose career he launched with the film Alexandria...Why? But this obsession is soon overshadowed by his interest in Nadia, the beautiful inginue whom he decides to cast in his next feature.

(Olin PN1997 .I852 2000)

The Apple

Directed by Samira Makhmalbaf ; Written by Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Samira Makhmalbaf ; With Ghorban Ali Naderi, Azizeh Mohamadi, Massoumeh Naderi, Zahra Naderi, Zahra Saghrisaz.

In the near-iconic opening shot of Samira Makhmalbaf's remarkable first feature, The Apple, a hand is reaching into the frame to water a dried-out plant. The futility of this simple act becomes evident as we see the life-bringing water miss the pot. The hand performing this unavailing task belongs to Zahra, an 11 year-old girl who plays herself in this true-to-life film. The bars hindering Zahra from reaching the thirsty flower are the same ones that separate her from the outside world. For as long they can remember, she and her twin sister Massoumeh have been imprisoned in the family home by a righteous and protecting father. In tying the fate of the flower to the condition of the twins, Samira Makhmalbaf manages to create a powerful and poetic metaphor for the condition of girls and women in an anachronistic Iranian society where archaic traditions can cause antagonism and modern-day tragedy. In a central part of the film, the father is asked to justify his daughters' captivity to a social worker. Defending his deed, the 65 year-old unemployed patriarch refers to a tattered copy of "Advice to Fathers." "My daughters are like flowers," he says, "expose them to sun, and they will wither away." Interpreting the "sun" to mean "boys", the religious father, whose only ally is his blind wife, decides to isolate his beloved daughters in the name of dignity. After learning about this real-life tragedy from Iranian television, the 17 year-old director Samira Makhmalbaf became interested in the fate and future of the twins. Being the daughter of famous Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Samira's upbringing was both privileged and liberal, and in most respects very different from the experience her two subjects shared. Despite their different backgrounds, Samira shows us an understanding of the sisters' situation that is both compelling and real. Approaching the twins, she even persuaded them to play themselves in this re-enactment of their release from captivity. As the result, the acting by the two girls is nothing short of magical. Their purity and innocence is conveyed in unaffected and genuinely charming performances so rarely seen on film. The film starts with hand-held video footage, cleverly adding a jolt of immediacy to the happenings. We follow the girls as they leave the house for the first time. They are escorted by civil servants from the Welfare Department who finally responded after a petition to free the twins was signed by the neighbors. But we see the girls return to their prison after their father promises the authorities to never repeat his misdeed -- a promise he promptly breaks. A social worker is summoned and this time she releases the twins and puts the parents where the children used to be -- behind bars. With the roles now reversed, Zahra and Massoumeh, both slightly autistic and with hampered gaits, are free to explore the outside world. Following temptation itself -- an apple tantalizingly dangled before them by a playful boy -- the pubescent girls venture outside. Their sense of discovery in the everyday streets of Teheran is colored with a delightful awe for simple pleasures. The taste of ice cream, the encounter with a goat, the interactions with vendors and potential friends give rise to both comic and deeply moving situations. Shot in 11 days, The Apple is everything a Hollywood film is not, and that's a major compliment. This understated and poetic, yet refreshingly simple, exercise in filmmaking raises urgent and difficult questions, but refrains from giving us stereotypical and moralistic answers. Rather than making judgment calls, Samira Makhmalbaf challenges us to reflect on the contradictions emerging from the clash between traditional values and the ones propagated by a modern and civilized society. It is clear that the making of The Apple was a profound experience for both Zahra and Massoumeh -- a summary initiation into both the real and the reel world. As viewers, we are allowed to share in their joy of freedom and exploration, and in their enthusiastic appreciation of the small things in life. It is a rare gift to see something so authentic in such an artistic context. I recently read that Samira's younger sister has shot two short films. She is ten years old and will probably soon join the ranks of her sister and father. If Samira's filmmaking is an indication of her sister's talents, then the Iranian Film Revolution -- or is it Evolution? -- is set to continue. (By Bence Olveczky)

This review was published on Friday, April 30, 1999. The Tech (MIT). Volume 119, Number 23.

(Olin PN1997 .A38 1999)

Arab and Jew: Wounded spirits in a promised land

a production of Gardner Films, Inc. with WETA, Washington, D.C. ; executive producer/principal writer, David K. Shipler ; producer/director, Robert Gardner ; co-producer/writer, Patrick Prentice. Cinematographers, Tony Cutrano, Yoram Millo, Itamar Hadar ; editor, Martha Conbog ; music, David Spear. Originally broadcast on PBS stations in 1989. Washington, D.C.] : PBS Home Video ; [s.l.] : Distributed by Quartet International, 1989. (Jewish heritage video collection ; IS 193) 1 videocassette (117 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by David K. Shipler. The two-hour special examines the tension between Arabs and Jews living within the lands under jurisdiction of the Israeli state, including the West Bank and the Gaza strip. The origins of racial hatred are difficult to identify. They are born of long-unresolved issues, intolerance, repression, differing beliefs or social status, skin color, facial features or even body size. Whatever the cause of bigotry, the physical evidence of its destructive power is only too apparent in many parts of the world. Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land takes an intimate look at Israeli and Palestinian society and the complicated relationships in the former Arab territories now under the jurisdiction of the state of Israel. The program examines the origins of the division between these peoples beginning with Israel's 1948 war for independence. Viewers learn about the history of the strange misunderstandings and envy that exist when the real nature of people is masked by divisive propagands. The long-unresolved issues of intolerance, repression and differing beliefs or social status have brought about a continuing state of war for both Arab and Jew in the former Arab territories now under the jurisdiction of the state of Israel. Nearly every family in this region has lost loved ones and treasured possessions. Locked in a prolonged struggle, few of the participants in the political strife can see beyond the narrow confines of their own personal suffering. Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land examines the Arab intifada or "uprising." Conflict between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank is set in the context of the lives of children who live in the refugee camps. Beyond the alienation, there are shared values and interaction in the intricate Arab-Jewish relationship. Innovative programs have built friendships between Arab and Jewish men, women and children, but many still acknowledge that easy solutions cannot work and there are few prospects for an eventual settlement and a lasting peace.

(Uris Video 2164)

Al-Ard (The Land)

With: Najwa Ibrahim, °Izzat al-°Alayli, Mahmud al-Miliji ; sinariyu wa-hiwar, Hasan Fuad ; mudir al-intaj, Mustafa Abd al-Aziz ; ikhraj, Yusuf Shahin. Mudir al-taswir, Abd al-Halim Nasr ; al-talif al-musiqi wa-qiyadat al-urkistra, Ali Ismail ; azf, Urkistra al-Qahirah al-Simfuni. al-Qahirah : al-Muassasah al-Misriyah al-Ammah lil-Sinima, 1970. Arabic with English subtitles. 130 mins.

Based on the novel by Abd al-Rahman al-Sharqawi. Set in an Egyptian village in 1933, this is an epic film about feudalism and peasant resistance, in which Chahine was able to elicit the best performances from his cast and crew. It showed at the Cannes film festival in 1969. In a small village peasants encounter problems in getting enough water to irrigate their fields. On top of this hardship, the local landowner decides to appropriate part to their land to build a road to his new estate. The final scene of the film with the older peasant, Abu Sweilim, grabbing the earth with his fingers as he is lynched, his blood making tracks in the earth and on the white cotton buds is one of the most powerful scenes in Egyptian cinema. The film was thought to be talking about the 1967 defeat and the occupation of Egyptian territory in its reference to the importance of the land for Egyptians and the sacrifices made by peasants to maintain their land.

(Uris Video 553)

Art of cinema in Iran

A comprehensive collection of movie clips, commentaries, history of all the movies shown in the Fajr festival and much more. Over 113 movies are discussed in this exciting CD. [double CD Rom (2 in the pack)]



Running Time: 1:42. Screenplay (in Arabic) by Khaled Youssef; Production Design by Hamed Hemdane; Photography (Color) by Mohsen Nasr; Edited by Rabab Abdel Latif;Music by Kamal El-Tawil

Yusra, Hanan Turk, Hani Salamah, Hisham Salim, Muhammad Najati.

(olin,storage PN1997 .A85 2001a)

Two brothers end up on opposite sides of the Gulf War.

Festivals (Prizes): Cairo 2000: In Competition (Special Jury Prize, Best Arabic Film), S.F. Intl. 01, Cairo 01, L.A. African 02

World Premiere/Country/Distributor/ Screens: Jan 26 2001 Egypt Misr Intl.

Critics: *** / 5 - TheMovieTimes: Pretty good.

Autour de la Maison Rose

Réalisateurs : Joana HADJITHOMAS & Khalil JOREIGE. Scénaristes : Joana HADJITHOMAS & Khalil JOREIGE. Durée : 1h32; Format : 35mm - couleur - 1,85 - Dolby SR; Année : 1999; Versions : française Arabe sous-titrée en Français. Image : Pierre DAVID. Son : Ludovic HENAULT. Décor : Frédéric BENARD. Montage : Tina BAZ- LE GAL. Musique : Robert M. LEPAGE Interprètes : Mireille SAFA, Joseph BOU NASSAR, Hanane ABBOUD, Maurice MAALOUF, Zeina SAAB DE MELERO, Asma ANDRAOS ... Production MILLE ET UNE PRODUCTIONS. Producteurs : Anne-Cécile BERTHOMEAU & Edouard MAURIAT. Co-producteur : Les Ateliers du Cinéma Québécois - Jean Dansereau . Avec la participation de : Canal Plus ; Ministère Français de la Culture; Ministère des Affaires étrangères ; Agence de la Francophonie - ACCT ; Canal Horizons ;Infi Gamma Holding - Liban ; SODEC Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles - ;Québec ; Programme de crédit d'impôt (Québec) ; Programme de crédit d'impôt fédéral (Ottawa) ; Djinn House Productions ; Ministère Libanais de la Culture et de l'Enseignement supérieur un scénario développé avec l'aide de SOURCES une initiative du programme européen MEDIA


Au Liban, dans le quartier fictif et populaire de Matba'a trône un vieux palais, "la maison rose". C'est là où se sont réfugiés au début de la guerre, deux familles les Nawfal et les Adaimi. Aujourd'hui, la guerre semble lointaine. Le pays est en plein effort économique et les immeubles criblés d'obus cèdent progressivement la place à de vastes projets immobiliers. C'est la reconstruction, à laquelle les habitants du quartier, devenus familiers du dynamitage des vieux immeubles, assistent en spectateurs. L'arrivée de Mattar, le nouveau propriétaire de la maison rose, bouleverse leur vie. Il leur annonce son intention de transformer ce palais en centre commercial tout en sauvegardant sa façade. Les deux familles devront quitter les lieux dans les dix jours, conformément à la loi. Secoués par cette nouvelle, les habitants du quartier ne savent que penser et, petit à petit, ils se divisent : d'un côté, les commerçants, partisans du développement économique que favorisera le centre commercial, de l'autre, les deux familles et leurs alliés qui cherchent leur place ou même simplement à exister dans le système économique actuel qui ne les prend pas en considération. Progressivement, le quartier ressemble à un nouveau champ de bataille. A chaque camp, ses stratégies : résistance des habitants de la maison et oppositions des commerçants. Ces prises de positions évoluent sous le regard indiscret d'un reporter Daniel de plus en plus présent dans le conflit. Au sein de ces tensions et des situations absurdes et drôles qu'elles engendrent, les protagonistes de l'histoire vivent chacun leur drame individuel. La maison rose agit comme un miroir déformant d'une certaine réalité, celle des deux familles, celle du quartier et celle d'un pays où chacun perd ou retrouve la mémoire face aux ruines d'une étrange après guerre.

Bab el-Oued City

Jacques Bidou, Jean Pierre Gallepe, Merzak Allouache, presentent ; un film de Merzak Allouache ; une production Les Matins Films, Flash Back Audiovisual, La Sept Cinema, ZDF, Thelma Film AG. Photography, Jean Jacques Mrejen ; Editing, Marie Colonna ; music, Rachid Bahri. With: Nadia Kaci, Mohamed Ourdache, Hassan Abdou, Mabrouk Ait Amara, Messaoud Hattou, Mourad Khen, Djamila, Simone Vignore, Michel Such. In Arabic and French with English subtitles.-- Seattle, Wash. : Arab Film Distribution, c1994. 1 videocassette (93 min.)

Bab el-Oued is the working class district of Algiers. Boualem, a young worker, holds the graveyard shift in the district bakery. One morning, shortly after the bloody riots of October, 1988, he commits an unthinking act which jeopardizes the entire district. Unable to stand the noise from one of the many rooftop loudspeakers broadcasting the propaganda of a local fundamentalist group, he rips the speaker out and throws it away. The extremists, led by Said, regard this act as deliberately provocative and aim to make an example of the culprit by punishing him. Violence escalates when Yamina, Said's younger sister, is caught with Boualem who is also her secret lover. Merzak Allouache's exposure of the inherent dangers in the recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Algeria has attracted considerable attention, winning both a Fipresci (International Film Critics) prize and a Prix Gervais when it was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival last year.

Badkonak Sefid (White Balloon)

From an original idea by Parviz Shabazi. Originally produced as a motion picture. In Farsi with English subtitles. script, Abbas Kiarostami ; executive producer, Ferdos Film Company ; direction, Jafar Panahi. Photography, Farzad Jowdat ; editor, Jafar Panahi. October Films ; CMI ; F. Sadr Orfani, A. Bourkowska, Aèida Mohammadkhani, Mohsen Kafili, Mohammad Bakhtiari, Mohammad Shahani.

Co-winner of the critic's Prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, this Iranian breakthrough feature tells the story of a young girl in Teheran who keeps losing her money on her way to buy a goldfish for New Year's. Snake charmers, a lonely and talkative soldier and other assorted adults get in the way of her goal. Includes previews of the films Ermo, Homecoming, Girls town, The funeral, and Celestial clockwork.

Battle for the Holy Land


On most PBS stations April 4, 2002. Michael Kirk, senior producer; David Fanning, executive producer; Dominic Allan and Stuart Tanner, producers for the BBC; Tom Roberts, executive producer for October Films; Israel Golvicht, executive producer for Golvicht Productions; Fiona Murch, editor for the BBC. Frontline is produced by WGBH, Boston.

As Israelis and Palestinians prepare for possible all-out war, FRONTLINE investigates how the combatants pursue the deadly conflict on the ground. How did a war that was once fought with stones evolve into a battle involving suicide bombings and targeted killings? Through exclusive access to Israeli commando units and Palestinian militants, FRONTLINE reveals the tactics and strategies behind the fighting and reports on the latest cycle of violence to unfold in the Holy Land.

Face to Face With a Hate That Bloodies the Mideast

By RON WERTHEIMER -- The New York Times Company, April 4, 2002

Watching "Battle for the Holy Land" may not give you a better understanding of the horror there. It surely won't give you hope. But the program, tonight's installment of the "Frontline" series on PBS, does put a human face on the intractable conflict, even if that face is seen in shadow or mostly wrapped in a scarf. Most of this documentary was shot by British film crews in December, when the confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians had not reached the current desperate state. Still, between grim scenes of confusion and death, fighters on both sides speak calmly in interviews about their determination to carry on. Neither side will consider any outcome except its own version of victory. The program takes you inside Al Aqsa Brigades, which carries out suicide bombings for Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement and calls them martyr missions. A handsome brigade leader, first glimpsed getting a haircut, vows, "The Israeli street will never know peace until the children of Palestine also enjoy peace." Inside what is described as a secret refugee camp, a Palestinian "engineer" displays the tools and supplies with which he assembles the explosive belts worn by suicide bombers. Lecturing to the camera like a junior high school chemistry teacher, he says: "To start with, let's see the raw materials. This is gunpowder." One guerrilla who is ready to wear such a belt says, "All those who live on a land that is not theirs are aggressors and tyrants, even the women and elderly." For their part, the Israelis are no less intense. The Palestinians "that we are after are ticking bombs," says one commander. "We don't stop until we get them." Modern warfare, even this gut-level conflict, has its public-relations aspects. And all the interview subjects here are clearly posturing for the viewer. If today's headlines are not enough, these bitter speeches show why the killing is likely to continue.

Be Yade Iran (Memory of Iran 1 & 2)

Alireza Meibodi and Freidoun Tofighi narrate these two tapes. In Farsi only.

Visits to all major cities in Iran. Walking through the streets of Tehran and the big Bazaars of Isfahan and Tehran. Talking to local people and visiting large number of tourists' sites in Southern, Central and Northern Iran. Art centers, museums, restaurants, public bath houses and much much more.

(Olin DS254 .B54 2000)

Behind the Veil: Afghan Women under Fundamentalism

For women living in Afghanistan under repressive Taliban rule, beatings, rape, and enslavement are commonplace occurrences. This gripping program describes the massive human rights abuses that have been escalating since the withdrawal of Soviet forces, as seen through the eyes of women who have survived years of rampant gender and religious intoleranceso far. Resistance activities carried out by women's groups inside the country are also documented, as they fight for freedom and democracy. Some content may be objectionable. (25 minutes, color)

(olin HQ1735.6 .B44x 2001)

Beirut to Bosnia : Muslims and the West

The Series Includes: The Martyr's Smile, The Road to Palestine , To the Ends of the Earth

A Chameleon/Barraclough Carey production for Channel Four and the DiscoveryChannel ; written by Robert Fisk. -- Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities& Sciences, c2000. 1 videocassette (52 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Films for the Humanities : FFH 9058. Producer, Dennis Walsh ; director, Michael Dutfield ; music, Ernie Wood. Filmed in Lebanon, Gaza, Israel, Egypt and Bosnia.

Why have so many Muslims come to hate the West? In this controversial three-part series Robert Fisk, award-winning Middle East and Balkans correspondent for the London Independent, reports on Muslim unrest as ideology, religion, history, and geography come into conflict. The road to Palestine, examines the displacement of Palestinians by Zionist immigrants and Jewish refugees. Spotlights the militant Islamic group Hamas, the effects of Israeli rule in occupied Gaza, the attitudes of Zionist settlers and Palestinian holdouts on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The Martyr's Smile: This riveting program documents the guerrilla war of Lebanon's Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad movements to free southern Lebanon of Israeli occupation forces and Western interference, beginning with the destruction of the American Marine barracks during the early 1980s. Interviews with Sheikh Hassan Nasralla, Hezbollah suicide soldiers, and civilian casualties of Israeli air attacks—combined with photos of massacre victims and bombing fatalities—underscore both the plight of those caught in the crossfire and the urgent need for a lasting peace in Lebanon. Contains strong imagery. Not available in French-speaking Canada. A Discovery Channel Production. (52 minutes, color)

The Road to Palestine: This compelling program examines the displacement of Palestinians by Zionist immigrants and Jewish refugees. Spotlights on the militant Islamic group Hamas, the effects of Israeli rule in occupied Gaza, and the attitudes of Zionist settlers and Palestinian holdouts on the outskirts of Jerusalem reveal the hostility and the humanity, powerfully depicting the plight of refugees on both sides of the historical, religious, and ideological divide. Not available in French-speaking Canada. A Discovery Channel Production. (52 minutes, color)

To the Ends of the Earth: This gripping program investigates the desperate situations of Muslims in Egypt and Bosnia, who, though worlds apart, are plagued by a common feeling of betrayal by the West. For members of Egypt's Gama'a al-Islamiya, religious fervor and violence—vehicles to create an Islamic state—are viewed as the only antidotes to poverty and unemployment, while Bosnians fight for the simple right to exist in a Europe that they feel does not want them. Interviews with leaders, fighters, and victims from both regions show the many faces of Cairo and Sarajevo. Contains strong imagery. Not available in French-speaking Canada. A Discovery Channel Production. (52 minutes, color)

(olin DS35.73 B45 2000)

Blackboards = Takhte siah

A film by Samira Makhmalbaf ; producers, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Marco Muller ; director, Samira Makhmalbaf. Script, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Samira Makhmalbaf ; music, Mohammad Reza Darvishi ; director of photography, Ebrahim Ghafori ; editor, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. WITH: Behnaz Djafari, Bahman Ghobadi, Said Mohamadi.

(olin,str1 PN1997 .T24625x 2000)

A group of teachers who, after a bombing in the Iranian Kurdistan, wander from one city to the next in search of students they can teach.

Synopsis: Iranian Kurdistan, near the border with Iraq. A group of itinerant teachers wander in search of pupils. After using their blackboards, which they carry on their backs, to take cover from an army helicopter, the group split up. One teacher, Saïd (Saeed Mohamadi), encounters an old man who asks him to read a letter from his son. Another, Reeboir, (Bahman Ghobadi) meets a party of boys carrying contraband stolen goods to be smuggled across the border; he tries to persuade them to accept him as a teacher. Saïd joins up with some nomads from Iraq trying to find their way back home. He offers his blackboard as a pallet to carry an ill old man and uses it as dowry to marry the old man's daughter Halaleh, (Behnaz Jafari) a mother with a young son. When one of the young smugglers injures himself, Reeboir chops up his blackboard for a splint. The boys use a herd of goats as camouflage to cross the border, but guards open fire. The nomads take cover from the gunfire, and despite their distrust, Saïd leads them to the border. Halaleh decides to cross over with them; she and Saïd divorce, and she keeps the blackboard.


When the precocious Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf - then only 18 - made her debut feature The Apple in 1997, sceptics suspected condescendingly that to some degree it was the work of her father, long-established director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who did indeed write and edit that film. He has collaborated on Blackboards too, but this film is so different from The Apple and so striking that it can only encourage us to see Samira Makhmalbaf as a very distinctive sensibility, working to develop her own film language with conspicuous success. Blackboards in one respect echoes the work of Makhmalbaf père, specifically 'The Door', his contribution to the 1999 portmanteau film Tales of Kish. In that sketch, a man walked across a desert carrying a door on his back, a prop which lent itself to multiple metaphoric uses. In Blackboards, Samira Makhmalbaf raises the ante; not only are several blackboard-bearers seen at the beginning, but the object undergoes even more metamorphoses than the door in her father's film. In the opening shot, as the group of teachers who wander the area in search of pupils appear silhouetted in the stark reddish mountain landscape, they appear like a flock of grounded birds, wings outstretched. Elsewhere in the film, a blackboard variously does service as cover from aircraft, a stretcher, a door and material for splints. In one of the most striking visual images, one board is seen in close-up being plastered for camouflage with the mountain region's muddy clay, and for a moment it seems as if half the screen is being smeared, made to vanish into the red of the landscape, the film's predominant colour. Whether the blackboards have a more stable meaning as blackboards per se is never entirely clear. The film's central image is of knowledge left abandoned, obliged to try and sell itself in a world that has no place for it. Although the story has the quality of a fairy-tale quest - two teachers rove Iran's border region with Iraq looking for pupils to teach - the overall mood is closer to Kafka. Written knowledge and language are reduced to scraps, for sale but hardly very useful in this barren, dangerous landscape: the teachers arrive with fragments of other lessons still visible on their boards, which are deformed as their journeys progress. One, Reeboir, begins to teach the smuggler boys the rudiments of language, but they remain mired in phonetic scraps, making absurd "rrrrr!" sounds as they march along. The film portrays a world in which reading and writing may be less use than an oral tradition: a wounded boy assuages his suffering by repeating a story about killing a rabbit. Not that oral communication is very effective, either: both teachers struggle to get any coherent conversation out of the people they encounter. In the end, however, the written word is restored to its communicative power: the phrase "I love you", which the other teacher Saïd has attempted to teach his bride, is, unknown to her, returned to him, as she walks away with the blackboard on her back. In the pseudo-documentary The Apple, language and institutionalised culture played a redemptive role in the lives of two neglected sisters. Blackboards takes a more tragic view of culture, devalued in a brutal world where everything revolves round survival and the body. Here an old man's being is defined entirely by his inability to piss, and considerable physical effort is required of the cast, who scale mountains and move along dirt roads on hands and knees. Blackboards is very much a humanist film, but it is less clear whether it is also a political one. The teachers appear to be dispossessed Kurds, and the poverty-stricken border country they travel is spiked with landmines. The prevailing dangers from surveillance helicopters and armed guards are presumably to be taken as Iraqi, but there are no clear signals to suggest they are not also Iranian. The Apple could be considered a benevolent finger wagged at a society that may not always take care of its own; Blackboards, conversely, quite bleakly presents a lawless space in which people risk everything fending for themselves. Despite considerable comedy, Blackboards seems a profoundly pessimistic film. Both wandering teachers are able to benefit the people they meet, guiding the boys and the nomads to the border. But no one is quite saved at the end: the boys, if they escape the guards' gunfire, will presumably go on plying their perilous trade, and we do not even know if Reeboir survives the attack. As for Saïd, he loses everything - blackboard, bride and the community he has struggled to join. As the tribe walks away in the fog, we hear what sounds like an explosion resounding under the final song - a devastating minor-key payoff to this extraordinary odyssey. Jonathan RomneyThis review appeared in the January 2001 issue of S&S.

Book of Kings 'Shahnameh' / ZaZ a

Adapted to 'pop/world music' in a uniquely personal style. 1. Book of Kings 2. Mother's Prayers 3. Silver Son 4. Jashn 5. Zal and Rudabeh 6. Rostam 7. You for Me 8. The Time for Us is Gone 9. Bijan 10. Destiny.

Accompanying ZaZa will be her world-music accoustic band: Ustad Mohammad Nejad (santur, tar, ney, flute & daf) Steven Kindler (violin, guitar & dumbak) Jose Neto (guitar) Marquinho Brasil (percussion & vocals)


Boycott = Baycot

Screenwriter & Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf Director of Photography: Faraj Haydari Ebrahim Ghazizadeh Editor: Roubik Mansouri Make-Up: Abdollah Eskandari Set Designer: Massoud Ghandi Mohammad – Bagher Ashtiyani Dubbing: Manouchehr Esmaeeli Special Effects: Ali Rastger Morteza Rastgar Hassan Saberi Cast: Majid Majidi; Mohammad Kasebi Zohreh Sarmadi ; Ardalan Shoja-Kaveh Saeed Kashan-Fallah Esmaeel Soltaniyan ; Bahman Rouzbehani Ali-Akbar Yeganeh ; Reza Cheraghi ; Irandokht Dowlatshahi Ali Hesami Naser Forough Ali Tavakkoli ; Massoud Nabavi ; Ali Shirazi ; Esmat Makhmalbaf ; Ebrahim Abadi . 1986, color, 95 mins.

(olin PN1997 .B39 2001)


Valeh is an irregular troop communist. His wife seeks a life and she is against the dangerous activities of her husband. When Vale takes his wife to the hospital for childbirth, he gets arrested in a Team-house and after being tortured and interrogated in the courthouse he is sentenced to execution and is sent to the public jail. In the public jail his friends ask him to die like a hero and make effort for the continuance of the combat but he loses his combat motives despite his friends' advises because when he dies he will no longer be, so he tries to stay alive or atleast find a better motive for dying.

The Bridge: How the Medicine of the ancient Greeks Came Back to Europe Through the World of Islam. (Title on cassette label and container: ‚a Bridge, how Islam saved Western medicine)

WDW Film & Video Production, Ltd. ; director, Ingrid Traversa ; producer, Hermann Jamek. Commentary, David Collison. Photography, Heribert Senegacnik ; film editor, Claudio Ghidini ; research, Esther Schmid. Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c1998. ( 1 videocassette (50 min.) VHS). Originally produced as a motion picture in 1996.

Explores the process by which scientific and holistic medical knowledge was preserved from the time of Hippocrates and built upon in the Islamic world during the Middle Ages.

(Olin,str1 R141 .B75x 1998)

Bye Bye

ADR Productions ; [produced by] Alain Rozanes ; un film de Karim Dridi ; scenario et dialogues, Karim Dridi. -- [Paris] : La Sept Video, c1997. 1 videocassette (93 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

One of France's most exciting new directors delivers an affecting story with Bye Bye. Ismaël, a handsome 25 year old haunted by guilt over a family tragedy leaves Paris and arrives in the French port city of Marseilles with his 14 year old brother, Mouloud. Their uncle's family, who lives in a seedy, raucous section of town, welcomes them. As Ismaël finds honest work on the docks, Mouloud is taken under the wing of his teenaged cousin, Rhida, whose dabblings as a drug dealer introduce young Mouloud to a terrifying world of violence. Riding the tensions between the personal and the political Bye Bye examines the conflict arising between a generation of North Africans still attached to their homeland and that of their French-born children carving a home in a place that does not want them.

(Olin PN1997 .B94 1997)

Children Of Heaven

With: Amir Naji, Mir Farrokh Hashemian; Director: Majid Majidi ; Runtime: 90 minutes ; MPAA Rating: Not Rated ; Genres: Drama, Foreign ; Language: Persian with English subtitles.

Poor children try to hide loss of shoes from parents in thought-provoking drama from Iran. Rich characterizations, potent criticism of Iranian society offers plenty to fans of character-driven drama, politics-and-society buffs.

© 1999 James Berardinelli / How often do we see something like Children of Heaven: an engaging movie about simple people living simple (yet fulfilling) lives? There are no explosions, no guns, no fight scenes, no car chases, and no eye-popping special effects. None of these things has a place in writer/director Majid Majidi's story about how a poor Iranian family copes with the financial difficulties of their day-to-day existence, and, despite the apparent obstacles, remains a happy and loving group. Sound boring? Perhaps on paper, but, on the screen, it makes for an enjoyable 90 minutes because the characters are vivid and sympathetic, and because Majidi's keen view of the human condition is universal, not parochial.

Children of Heaven opens in the poor quarter of an Iranian city. There we meet Ali (Mir Farrokh Hashemian), a 9-year old boy going home with his sister's worn, pink shoes, which he has just taken to a cobbler for repairs. On the way, he stops at a fruit and vegetable stand to buy some potatoes. He puts the shoes down, and, while he's sorting through a bin, a rag picker mistakenly takes the shoes, thinking they're part of the stand owner's refuse. When Ali arrives home empty-handed, his 7-year old sister, Zahra (Bahare Seddigi), is in tears. What will she wear to school? Ali has a solution. She goes to school in the morning; he attends in the afternoon. They can share a pair of sneakers. Once her day is done, she can rush home and give the sneakers to him. Unfortunately, there's not enough time for the swap, and Ali arrives late to his first class. Meanwhile, on a day off, he accompanies his father (Amir Naji) to the city's wealthy section in search of work as a gardener - work that will pay enough to give the family a little extra money. And, at school, Ali discovers a possible solution to the shoe dilemma. Third place in a foot race is a pair of new sneakers (first and second prize are more lucrative, but Ali has no interest in them). All Ali has to do is beat out several hundred children and lose to only two, and his sister will be happy.

There are a number of reasons to like Children of Heaven, not the least of which is its inherent sweetness. Unlike many American movie kids, Ali and Zahara truly care for one another. Ali is deeply upset about losing the shoes, and the two siblings work together to find a solution without placing an additional financial burden upon their beleaguered parents. Seeing the film in North America also offers the fascination of looking through a window at a different culture and recognizing that it's not fundamentally different from our own. The dream, as voiced by Ali's father, is certainly the same: "We're gonna have a better life. We're gonna buy everything." And the climactic foot race contains more genuine suspense than 90% of all movie sporting events because we don't know what's going to happen.

The film's single weakness is the central conceit, which seems contrived. There's a sense of falseness in the way Ali loses his sister's shoes - a few too many coincidences occur for the viewer to miss the screenwriter's hand at work. Ironically, the awkwardness with which Majidi starts out his tale stands out only because the majority of the movie is so carefully constructed. In a big, flashy, Hollywood-style production, this kind of mistake wouldn't be noticed, but, in such a low-key picture, it calls attention to itself. Miramax's marketing department is likening Children of Heaven to Cinema Paradiso. It's a flawed comparison, since the films have little in common. Those expecting something with the dynamic cinematic and emotional tapestry of the '80s Italian import will be disappointed. Children of Heaven is a good film, but its goals are different. Better comparisons would be to The Bicycle Thief (a better movie, but with similar themes) and The White Balloon. Expectations are important with a film like this - those anticipating something radically different (louder or more melodramatic, for example) may be displeased by Children of Heaven's uncomplicated pleasures. Children of Heaven shares several traits with other Iranian movies I have seen (notably those by Abbas Kiarostami): a gentle, relaxed style, an almost-poetic fascination with basic images (such as fish swimming in a pool), and the use of numerous, seemingly-unimportant anecdotes to build a larger emotional picture. Children of Heaven isn't about Zahra's lost shoes, Dad's difficulty finding work, or Ali's placement in the race. It's about how those things define one family, and why the characters make worthwhile companions for 90 minutes of our time. There's certainly nothing epic about Majidi's narrative, but sometimes, as in Children of Heaven, an inconsequential and intimate story can provide a satisfying emotional payoff. © 1999 James Berardinelli

(Olin PN1997 .C454 1999)

Chronicle of a Disappearance

Palestine, 1996, 35mm, 85 min., color, Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.

a Dhat Productions film ; written, produced & directed by Elia Suleiman. -- New York, N.Y. : Fox LorberHome Video, [1999] 1 videocassette (88 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. [Fox Lorber Home Video : FLV1509].

Starring: Nazira Suleiman, Faud Suleiman, Jamal Daher, Elia Suleiman, Ula Tabari

Provides a personal meditation on what it means to be Palestinian. Examines the effect of the political impasse in the Middle East on the identity of the Palestinian people.


This experimental meditation on the psychological effect of political instability on the Palestinian people is the fascinating first feature film of Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman. His movie presents a series of tableaux, seemingly unconnected images and incidents that give the impression that they are searching for a unifying narrative thread. Despite their idiopathic expressiveness, no conventional storyline emerges. But together they create a compelling portrait of marginalization and inaction. Some images: The proprietor of the Holyland souvenir shop uses water from the tap to fill little bottles of holy water. An aunt gossips on and on about family matters. Three men fishing on a motor boat praise Allah and trash-talk everyone they know back on land. A Palestinian actress futilely searches for an apartment to rent in Israeli West Jerusalem. Playing himself, Suleiman tries to address an audience about the content of his upcoming film but is stymied by the technological failure of the PA system. Suleiman's parents fall asleep to the TV station sign-off and the eerie television glow of the Israeli flag waving on the screen while the national anthem fills the darkened room. Men sit quietly outside the souvenir shop, watching intently as nothing occurs. In long shot, men leap from a car and nearly come to blows. In scene after scene, such as these described, the beginnings of stories almost occur. Yet the elements never seem to find their narrative next step. Instead, they accumulate and become the hues of the filmmaker's palette, hues that Suleiman uses to create a subjective summary of the unsettled quality of life in his homeland. The use of non-professional actors helps Suleiman sustain the documentary-like flavor of his tableaux; using himself and other family members as actors underscores the movie's personal relevance and motivation. In addition to playing at such prestige festivals as Sundance and the Museum of Modern Art's New Director/New Films series, Chronicle of aDisappearance received a prize for best first feature film at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. It's easy to see why.-- [Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle, 11-21-1997]


In a recent article for Cahiers du Cinema, Frederic Strauss, described Palestininan filmmakers as filmmaker-ambassadors. Implicit in this description is the added burden, for these artists, of representing an entire people as opposed to simply their own views or ideas on a given subject matter. One of the remarkable qualities of Elia Suleiman's first film, Chronicle of a Disappearance is that it eleagantly balances both these tendancies. The film uses an elliptical and occasionally opaque structure to relate the tale of a Palestinian filmmaker named Elia Suleiman who has returned to Palestine. The expected ambivalence, confusion, amusement, despair and elation that comes with this journey are all conveyed in the film. This is seen through a number of episodes that are presented, almost as a simple travelogue, except that a carefully controlled style and a number of associative devices are used to elevate this material in masterful ways.

Suleiman achieves considerable economy of means by keeping his production modes relatively simple: non-professional actors, natural lighting, location shooting. However, his actual use of these tools is by no means simple. It would have perhaps been tempting to offer a more straight forward narrative, in the vein of recent 'social realism' such as (Sandrine Veysset's) Will There be Snow For Christmas, an accomplished film in it's own right. Instead, however, Suleiman uses an episodic structure marked by a number of careful repetitions and variations. A car repeatedly comes to a halt outside of a cafe and the drivers have an altercation or exchange of some kind; the 'Holy Land Souvenir Shop' is repeatedly framed in long-shot, with usually one key element of motion either being introduced or withdrawn from the frame etc.. While specific interpretations will vary, it is the overall technique: the juxtaposing of seemingly similiar yet disparate scenes as to tease out inquiries that is telling. These are moments in time...a people that has perhaps grown eerily accustomed to being marginalized by an annexing culture that denys them both their history and their future. In a recent interview Suleiman asserted that, "...a principle reason for [outsiders] wanting peace today, is to deny the existence of Palestinans before 1948; to not have to deal with this problem."

One of the most notable aspects of the film is Suleiman's restrained use of the camera. For the most part scenes are framed from a single static position. But this is not the arbitraray static camera that has come to plague so many, fiscally challenged and aesthetically bankrupt Americain Independant filmmakers. This is not the 'Look-ma-no-cuts' style of Jim Mackay (Girlstown) or Neil Labutte (In The Compny of Men). Suleiman employs Bressonian rigour in choosing the composition, angle and particularly the articulation between his shots. The result is a considerable density despite the spare means described earlier. This 'persistence' of the camera alludes to a feeling of the need to document. A need to describe and represent in the absence of an official history for Palestinians. The insistence of a certain computer journal to perpetually record the words "The next day", as if this in itself were enough, reinforces this notion.

The film is at its best when it betrays the comic sensibility of its director. The opening monologue of a woman sitting on a couch indulging in neighbourhood gossip, the meeting of two friends who shake hands, offer each other cigarettes and light them exactly mirroring each others gestures, the bufoonery of Israeli police as they raid a woman's house and fail to see her despite an obvious presence (more concerned with being policemen than with recognizing their foe.) all provide humorous counterpoints to the more serious undertones of the film. Suleiman has provided an exceptionally well realized work that we can only hope will spearhead continued efforts from Palestinian filmmakers in Palestine and around the world. --[Negative Cutter]


*1996 Venice Film Festival, Luigi De Laurentiis Prize Winner, Best First Feature

*1996 London Film Festival

*1997 Sundance Film Festival

*1997 New Directors New Films

*1997 San Francisco Film Festival

*1997 Seattle Film Festival

* 1997 San Francisco Arab Film Festival

*1997 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

The Circle (Dayereh = Il cerchio)

Jafar Panahi Film Productions, Mikado Film, Lumiáere & Co. New York, NY : Fox Lorber Films : distributed by Winstar TV and Video, c2001. 1 videocassette (91 min.) Farsi with English subtitles; title frames in Italian and English; credits in Farsi and Italian.

Originally released as a motion picture in 2000 under title: Dayereh. Based on an original idea by Jafar Panahi. Cast: Nargess Mamizadeh, Maryam Parvin Almani, Mojgane Faramarzi, Elham Saboktakin, Monir Arab, Solmaz Panaki, Fereshteh Sadr Orafai, and Fatemeh Naghavi. Golden Lion, Best Film, 2000 Venice Film Festival.

(olin PN1997 .D394 2001)

This film offers insights into the lives of women in Iran. As the narrative dynamically shifts from woman to woman, their stories culminate with tremendous potency, transforming a shared sense of dispair and injustice into one of kinship and even hope.


by Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters Film and TV Editor

The Circle is about political oppression. The film, banned by Iranian authorities, follows a series of women in Tehran as they try to elude persecution and harassment by policemen, government representatives, and other men who feel entitled to abuse them because they are women and so "deserve" abuse. It is structured as a "circle," in the sense that each woman's story leads you to another's, and then another's -- the oppression is so pervasive, so all inclusive, that no woman can escape. It's an elegant film, though distressing to watch, offering little hope for the women you meet along the way, all resilient, resourceful, and trapped. How ironic, then, that the man who made The Circle, award-winning Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (his first film, 1995's The White Balloon won the Cannes Film Festival's Camera d'Or), has recently had his own distressing encounter with official policy, on the part of that bastion of free speech and democracy, the U.S. government. Though he has traveled in the U.S. in the past, in order to present his films at film festivals in New York and elsewhere, he has always refused to be fingerprinted by the State Department, which routinely fingerprints citizens of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism. Until this January, Panahi has been granted a waiver from this policy, but the Bush Administration announced that such waivers would no longer be granted, for anyone. Fine. Panahi decided not to visit the U.S. But then he changed planes in New York en route from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires. And though he was assured he would have no trouble, indeed he did. He was detained for 12 hours, his feet shackled to a bench, without being granted a phone call, to seek either legal or translation assistance (the director does not speak English). In Iran, as Panahi's film demonstrates, women cannot smoke cigarettes in public. In the United States, Iranians -- just because they are Iranians -- cannot walk about in public without "proper" documentation. The effectiveness of The Circle lies in its attention to details -- it shows what it feels like to be watched, to be afraid, to be angry and to be disappointed, all the time. Not only does it reveal the large pains produced by oppression -- as in a scene when a poor, husbandless woman (Fatemeh Naghavi) leaves her little girl on the street outside a hotel, hoping that someone will take the child in and offer her a better life than she can. But it also shows little pangs, niggling and persistent, the wear-you-down daily horrors that will never go away, so you must get used to them. Nargess (played by Nargess Mamizadeh, and whose name means "Daffodil" in Farsi) is newly released from prison, and trying to get back to her village in western Iran, but she lacks the proper papers. Her friend Arezou (Maryam Parvin Almani, "Wish") prostitutes herself in order to get Nargess's bus fare, but refuses to travel with her, concerned that because she has heard so much about the "paradise" Nargess has described to her, that she will only be disappointed when she sees it -- and she cannot bear more disappointment. Another friend, Pari (Fereshteh Sadr Orafai, "Fairy"), is four months pregnant and unmarried (her lover has been executed in prison), which means that she and her child are doomed. She tries to get an abortion, but the woman she asks for assistance -- Elham (Elham Saboktakin), who works in a hospital -- is afraid to help, for fear of irritating her own man, who also works at the hospital, and can be seen through windows and doorways, a threatening figure whenever the women spot him. Pari can only get an abortion with a husband's consent. Women in The Circle come up against one obstacle after another: in its first moments, a young woman gives birth behind a closed door, screaming while her own mother waits outside in another room. When the mother learns that her daughter has given birth to a girl (when the ultrasound had suggested she was having a boy), she can only react with dismay, knowing that the husband's family may demand a divorce, because she has not delivered the expected and much desired son. A girl child is only a burden. Every story is more of the same, yet also individual and newly terrible, as the women (many first time actors) subtly convey the strength and determination needed just to get through their days. The camera is restless -- tracking, circling, observing, but never intruding -- suggesting the impossibility of really understanding the day to day duress of being a woman in this lifelong situation. It's a beautifully understated and powerful technique, drawing you inside and keeping you at a distance at the same time. When a prostitute (Mojhan Faramarzi) is picked up toward the end of the film, she sits quietly on the bus taking her to be booked and incarcerated, watching the cops joke and talk with one another. This routine is familiar to her, and tedious. For a brief moment of respite, and taking a cue from one of the cops, who starts smoking on the bus, she lights her own cigarette, and draws deeply. For an instant, she is free, while on her way to jail.

Close up = Nema-ye nazdik

Written, edited and directed by Abbas Kiarostami; director of photography, Ali Reza Zarrin-Dast; produced by the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults; released by Zeitgeist Films. In Farsi, with English subtitles. Running time: 90 minutes. WITH: Hossain Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami (Themselves), Abolfazl Ahankhah (Father), Mehrdad Ahankhah and Manoochehr Ahankhah (Sons), Mahrokh Ahankhah and Nayer Mohseni Zonoozi (Daughters), Ahmed Reza Moayed Mohseni (Friend) and Hossain Farazmand (Reporter).

(olin PN1997 .N45 1990)

At the heart of this true story is Hossein Sabzian, an unemployed movie buff who finds himself mistaken for the enigmatic director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The misunderstanding takes on a life of its own and Sabzian ends up in jail where his trial is filmed by Kiarostami.


The New York Times "A transcendent humanist in the tradition of the Italian neo-realists and the Indian director Satyajit Ray, Mr. Kiarostami has made a film that looks into the heart of a man accused of a crime and, instead of evil, discovers only sweetness, longing and a sad confusion."

On Screen "Granted, Close-Up's incredibly slow pace proves that it definitely does issue from the same man who gave us such real-time snore classics as Where is the Friend's Home? and ...And Life Goes On. But in this case, the premise and content far outweigh the presentation. If you can keep awake long enough to appreciate them."

Mr. Showbiz "Close-Up is relatively simple in its conception and execution, yet bottomlessly complex in its intent and intelligence — indeed, it barely qualifies as a "movie" in any traditional sense. Kiarostami is rewriting the rules, if only we'd listen."


In English and Turkish with English subtitles. Directed by Elif Savas ; produced by Brian Felsen. Cinematographers, Metehan Aras, Bariðs Bidav. 1 videocassette (158 min.) COUP is made possible by a grant from the New York Council on the Arts and the Experimental Television Center

A documentary film about the 1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997 military interventions and coups d'etat in Turkey.

COUP explores the origins of the militarily-patrolled democratic system created by Ataturk in the 1920's; the place of the armed forces in the political and cultural life of the nation; the causes and consequences of each coup d'etat and how they differ from those in South America and the rest of the world, and the future of the "military democracy."

It contains not one word of voice-over narration or one frame of simulated footage. The film instead weaves together interviews with activists, politicians, and military leaders with extraordinary archival and personal footage of the military actions, street demonstrations and extremist activisms. This enables the film to illustrate the variegated nature of the current debate in Turkey, interweaving radically differing viewpoints without passing them through the filter of an overriding narrator. In so doing, the film can remain true to its subject, giving the viewer visual experience of the devastating impact of the collision between state and military authority and extreme civil activism, while providing a hoard of information that goes beyond the mere "sound-byte."

Some of the film's interview subjects are Former National Ministers of Health, the Interior, and Foreign Affairs; authors of the Turkish Constitution; current and former Members of Parliament; aides to the President and Prime Minister; military officers; junta leaders; intelligence agents; publishers; party leaders; extremist activists; former death-row prisoners, and scholars. Several of the film's interview subjects have never before spoken on film about their experiences. The filmmakers have brought together for the first time politicians from all sides of the political spectrum, even the extremes, to talk about issues of international importance.

COUP is above all an oral history of world-shaping events, and viewers are able to hear direct testimony from the participants themselves. Several who participated in the 1960 coup are well into their 80's, making this film a great chance to preserve their thoughts and a wonderful window into their times. Already, two of our speakers are no longer with us: General Muhsin Batur (who died in Florence Nightingale Hospital in Istanbul of natural causes after filming) and journalist Ahmet Taner Kislali (who was murdered by a car bomb outside of his home shortly after filming completed.)

Never-before-seen photos, documents, audio clips, and film footage from news services and personal archives form the backbone of the film. The film contains ceremonials with the Ottoman Pasha from the 1910's; Atatürk speeches from the 1930's; footage from the army trial resulting in the hanging of Prime Minister Menderes; speeches by 1960 coup leader Turkes; clips of the condemned student leader Deniz Gezmis; May Day street demonstrations from the 70's and extremist café bombings; the September 1980 coup announcement and the follow-up elections in 1983; the 1995 rise of the religious Refah party; the 1997 coup by memorandum and closing down of the Refah office; and military press briefings from 1998. COUP examines the degree to which abstract ideals (such as "freedom of speech" and "human rights") are actually applied in a country facing political exigencies. Even if such rights exist on paper, there are practical consequences of asserting them in a nation where the stakes are so high: one of the film's speakers was murdered by a car bomb after filming; some were jailed for their writings; and some were punished for having spoken with Amnesty International about their experiences. The film also takes a hard look at the practical and ethical issues raised when a country takes anti-democratic measures in its attempt to preserve a democratic system. These implications are both national, when the military becomes involved in the political process, and international, when the nation must balance their own needs with those of foreign governments and world powers.

(olin, DR593 .C68 1999)

Cover-Up: Attack On The USS Liberty

History Undercover, 2001 A&E Television Networks. 50.00 minutes

On June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War, the intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked off the Sinai Peninsula. The unprovoked assault came first from jets, then torpedo boats, all of which were unmarked. Virtually unique among such cases, the incident has never been formally investigated by Congress.

HISTORY UNDERCOVER® goes where the government won't with this unblinking look at the event that strained US-Israeli relations. We'll hear from survivors of the attack about what it was like onboard the Liberty, and the disbelief the crew felt when they realized that their anonymous assailants were their alleged allies. We'll look for signs of a cover-up in a thorough analysis of the public statements made by both the US and Israeli governments. And we'll examine the leading theories put forth to explain the motive behind the attack, and the reasons why the United States chose not to pursue the incident, despite the loss of 34 lives. This is the definitive examination of the Israeli sneak attack on the USS Liberty.

(Olin DS127.6.N3 C68 2000)

The Cyclist = Bicyleran

Director/writer, Muhsin Makhmalbåaf ; director of photography, A.R. Zaiindast ; music, Majid Entezami. WITH: Muharram Zaynalzadah, Isma°il Sultaniyan.

1 videocassette (75 min.). Videocassette release of a 1989 motion picture under the title: Bicyleran. In Farsi with English subtitles.

(olin PN1997 .B53 2000)

Synopsis: Noghre, Nasim's husband-an Afghani emigrant- is suffering from a bad disease, which the treatment needs a lot of money. Nasim hospitalizes him after a lot of begging and insisting so that she could go after the money they need. When a middleman finds out that Nasim was once a cycling champion and that she has the reputation of non-stop cycling during few days in a row, he proposes to her to cycle in one of the squares in the city for one week so that people gather there and he could make money and Nasim could get a wage to be able to pay the hospital expenses for his wife. Nasim accepts it and soon the cycling square turns into a gathering place for all middlemans, wagers and badgers and a total circus is held to fill the pocket of those who are holding the string of others' fates in their hands. A lot of incidents take place and this emotional story changes into a social crisis. Eventuall the one-week cycling of Nasim is over but the middleman takes the money and runs away with a gypsy woman. Great wagers are looking for new plans for betting right now and the reporters are waiting for Nasim's cycling to come to an end. But he is still cycling and he is not willing to get out of the circle that he has been trapped in and end the game; in a way that it is not obvious if he has accepted the circle of his compulsory fate or if he has turned into a myth.


Day I Became a Woman, The

Directed by Marziyeh Meshkini Written by Mohsen Makhmalbaf With Fateme Cheragh-Azar, Hassan Nabehan, Shabnam Toloui, Cyrus Kahourinejad, and Azieh Seddighi ***1/4 Distributed by Shooting Gallery Films

Al-Dhakira = La memoire.

Originally produced as a motion picture in 1982 by Misr Film International. Title on disc label: An Egyptian story. Also known as: Hadduta misriya. With: Oussama Nadir, Mohson Mohieddine, Nour El Charif. Producer, director and writer, Youssef Chahine; director of photography, Mohsen Nasr ; editor, Rashida Abd el Salam ; music, Dr. Gamal Salama.

In Arabic, with subtitles in English; credits in French and Arabic. 1 videodisc (ca. 127 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. New York, NY : WinStar TV & Video, c2000.

In the middle of his own heart surgery, an Egyptian filmmaker remembers his life. In fact his old self, as a child, is accused of attempted murder of his new self. Through the metaphoric trial, we are drawn into his life in relation with the Egyptian revolution, his constant need for success, and the effect the American Dream has on him.

Divorce Iranian style

a film by Kim Longinotto & Ziba Mir-Hosseini. -- New York : Women Make Movies, c1998. 1 videocassette (ca. 80 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in. In Farsi with English subtitles and Narration.

This video is a powerful documentary made inside the divorce courts in present Iran. The film is directed by award- winning independent filmmaker Kim Longinotto (co-director of DREAM GIRLS, an expose of the Japanese all-woman musical theater company, which played at Film Forum) and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, an Iranian anthropologist and writer, based in London, whose specialty is women's rights and family law in the Mid-East. Her 1993 book, Marriage on Trial: A Study of Islamic Family Law, inspired Longinotto to collaborate with her on this production. One woman tells the judge her husband is crazy: in 30 years he has refused to let her answer the phone. (In Iran the husband's insanity, impotence, or inability to provide financially are the only grounds for divorce when proceedings are brought by a woman; for men, divorce is granted upon request.) A 16-year-old, married at age 15 to a man 2 and a half times her age, explains that she desperately wants a divorce to go back to school. Another pleads for custody of her 4-year-old daughter, having already lost custody of the older child. "You're poisoning my tea," mutters the clerk to a woman who insists he find her misplaced file within the hour (he had suggested she return in a week).


The Dupes Al-Makhdu°un

1 videocassette (107 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in. VHS format. Arabic with English subtitles.

Muhammad Khayr Halwami, Bassam Lutfi, Salih Khalqi, °Abd al-Raòhman Al Rashi. Presented by Al-Muassasah al-°Amah li al-Sinima ; music, Sulhi al-Wadi ; editor, Sahib Haddad ; photography, Bahjat Haydar ; screenplay and director, Tawfiq Salih. Presented by Al-Muassisat al-'Amah li al-Sinama.

Based on the book Men in the sun by Ghassan Kanafani. Originally released as a motion picture in Syria in 1972?

Two men and a boy try to be smuggled into Kuwait to find work and escape the poverty and apathy of the Palestinian refugee camps.

(Olin PN1997 .M2546 1992)

Un Été à La Goulette

[Also Known As: Halk-el-wad (1995) (Tunisia: Arabic title); Summer in La Goulette]

Directed by Férid Boughedir. Writing credits Férid Boughedir Image : Robert Alazraki. Son : Faouzi Thaber. Interprétation : Sonia Mankaï, Camille Bouyssonie, Sarah Pariente, Mustapha Adouani, Antonio Mancini, Guy Nataf, Michel Boujenah, Mohamed Driss et Claudia Cardinale. Montage : Catherine Poitevin. Musique : Jean-Marie Senia. Producteur délégué : Marie-Françoise Mascaro. Production : Marsa Fims (France), Cinares Productions (Tunisie), Lamy Films et la RTBF, avec l'aide de WBI et de la Communauté française de Belgique.

Available in: French with English subtitles. VHS/PAL

A comedy about tolerance. In la Goulette, a harbour suburb of Tunis, various populations and cultures have lived together in effortless happiness. Youssef, the Muslim, Jojo the Tunisian Jew and Guisseppe the Sicilian Catholic are as inseparable as their 16 year old daughters, Meriem, Gigi and Tina. Their close friendship is severely tested after a series of unfortunate events. Some interesting social dynamics are observed as a result. Brilliant storyline. (100 minutes)


Summer in a magic place

By LIZ BRAUN. Toronto Sun. Monday, April 21, 1997.

A Summer In La Goulette is a snapshot, a memoir, of a people, a way of life and a time that no longer exist. Only the second Tunisian film ever to have theatrical release in Canada, A Summer In La Goulette is from filmmaker Ferid Boughedir and celebrates life in a tiny port town -- just before the start of the Six Day War in 1967. Youssef (Mustapha Adouani) is a Muslim, Jojo (Guy Nataf) is Jewish and Giuseppe (Ivo Salerno) is an Italian Catholic, and they are the closest of friends. Their teenaged daughters are likewise best buddies: There's Meriem (Sonia Mankai), Gigi (Sara Pariente) and Tina (Ava Cohen-Jonathan). Initially, it's difficult for a viewer to keep straight the characters and their various cultural and religious differences, and that would seem to be the point: A Summer In La Goulette is about a magical place where open-mindedness and tolerance are givens. Taking the role of local 'villain' is the Hadj Beji (Gamil Ratib), a falsely pious old goat who owns most of the buildings in La Goulette and who lusts endlessly for more property. When he begins to lust after the beautiful young Meriem, things take a comic turn. Despite the emphasis on an ethnic mix, A Summer In La Goulette is about people, not politics. What shakes up the community is not some far-off potential war but a simple plot by Meriem, Gigi and Tina to rebel against parental authority and lose their virginity by Aug. 15 -- the feast of the Madonna. Each chooses a boy of the 'wrong' religious persuasion, a gesture that scandalizes the community and threatens to bust up life-long friendships. Living alongside the central figures is a support cast of eccentrics -- the local half-wit listens to a portable radio and screams the news along the beach, a match-maker plots endlessly, citizens speculate as to when La Goulette's most famous citizen, Claudia Cardinale, will return home. A Summer In La Goulette is a comic but loving celebration that works on many levels. It's a wonderfully animated and exuberant story about everyday life and friendship, about life in a tiny village where no one locks his door and everyone knows your business. The film does have nationalistic and political underpinnings, of course, but the issues serious enough to prompt war are gently ridiculed in miniature as the petty squabbles -- easily solved -- and general minutiae of everyday life in a village. The real La Goulette is a tiny resort town renowned for being a geniune melting pot in the Islamic world -- though various global political changes have prompted the non-Muslim minorities to gradually move away. A Summer In La Goulette celebrates what once was. It's quick and innocent and funny, and has an impact that comes after-the-fact rather than at the moment of viewing. A Summer In La Goulette -- with subtitles -- opened Friday at the Carlton. SUN RATING 3 OUT OF 5.

This film is a shambling but lightly enjoyable Tunisian comedy about three teenage girls whose sexual curiosity is more powerful that their parents' admonitions. In a resort town in 1967, Jews, Catholics and Muslims are brought together by their common desire to protect their daughters' virtue. There's little in the way of plot here, mostly a series of vignettes linked only by consistent energy and a sense of good will, but it all manages to cohere for the film's brief length. The vision of ripe young women eager to secure their own deflowering may seem a little dated, but it's all part of the rosy nostalgia trip. Not particularly original, Summer is unflaggingly good-natured enough to make you forgive its flaws." Philadelphia City Paper.

One of those foreign films that will achieve wide circulation due in large part to its promise of naked young flesh ... The story takes place in La Goulette, Tunisia in the late sixties. Three 16-year-old girls -- one Muslim, one Jewish, and one Christian -- conspire to lose their virginity with a boy outside their faith. When they are caught necking with their chosen studs in a hotel room, all hell breaks loose among their families, who had previously managed to maintain an air of civility. With its sultry, exotic atmosphere and focus on losin' it, the film is reminiscent of last year's Stealing Beauty; but where that film was sweet and lyrical, this one is bawdy and coarse, using scantily-clad fat people and lecherous old guys for cheap laughs. Boughedir -- apparently a critic and auteur of some note -- seems to be aiming for a Mediterranean Do the Right Thing: in the heat of summer, an explosive incident causes simmering racial tensions to boil over. But his exploration of racial themes is shallow at best (the reaction of the families basically amounts to, "A Jew! Couldn't you find anything better than a Jew!" or "A Christian! Couldn't you find anything better than a Christian!" and so forth), and he seems more interesting in ogling his trio of young ingenues. There is a brief tangent in which hometown-girl-made-good Claudia Cardinale (playing herself) returns to madly appreciative crowds, which is probably meant to be symbolic of something or other, but which I didn't care to ponder. Like Chasing Amy, the film squanders a potentially intriguing premise by pandering to the lowest common denominator. Tunisian in origin, but a stealth French sex farce. You have been warned. Skander Halim's Film Geek Haven


Ta'lif Musta Amin ; mudir al-intaj, Ahmad Raja'i ; ikhraj, Ahmad Badrkhan. Umm Kulthum, Anwar Wajd i. Sharikat Misr lil-Tamthil wa-al-Sinima, Studiu Misr, [193- ?]. Arabic with English subtitles. 1 videocassette (VHS)

Musical comedy.

(uris,med Video;548)

The Girl With The Running Shoes

A film by: Rasoul Sadr-Ameli. (Color, Farsi , VHS video (NTSC & PAL format))

This film deals with the problem of the wide generation gap which exists among most Iranian families and focuses on a story of young girl who runs away from home.

The Guests of God

Written & narrated by David Tindall ; producer, Maurice Thompson. Meridian International Communications Production, c1991. 1 videocassette (51 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

This BBC production traces the steps of a European Muslim convert family in Germany to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Camera work provides breathtaking shots of Makkah's two million 'hajjis'.

Uris. Video 1907

Googoosh Series

This series consists of the following films: Bita ; Nazanin ; Dar Emtedad Shab ; Fereshteh Farari ;Panjareh ; Mah Assal ; Life Story of Googoosh.

(Olin PN1997.A1 G84 2000)

The Hajj : a journey of faith. The Hajj mission of a lifetime. Title on cassette label: Hajj package

Executive producer, Jim Miller ; Atlanta producers, Rena Golden ... [et al.] ; director, Terry Torson. Camera, Mohammad Ali Asaad ; graphic design, Nancy Williams ; editor, Scott McGhee. Host and correspondent, Riz Khan. Atlanta, Ga. Cable News Network. 1 videocassette (ca. 48 min.) : sd., col. ;1/2 in.

Originally broadcast on CNN on Aug. 13, 1998. Copy 2 air date: Apr. 2-6, 1998. An unprecedented coverage of the Hajj, or the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, by a western news organization with live reports, including interviews with the officials, scholars, and pilgrims. First half of the program describes the purpose and rituals of the pilgrimage. The second half shows how the reports were put together.

Halfaouine [Asfur al-sath = A child of the terraces]

Directed by Ferid Boughedir ; screenplay, Ferid Boughedir. Adaptation, Maryse Leon Garcia ; dialogues, Taoufik Jebali ; music, Anour Braham. With: M. Driss, H. Kazaras, R. Ben Abdallah, F. Ben Saldane, Selim Boughedir. A Cine Tele Films, France Mâedia, Scarabee Films production. New York : Kino International, [1997], c1990. 1 videocassette (98 min.). A videorecording of the 1990 motion picture. An International Film Circuit Release In Tunisian Arabic with English subtitles. Official selection, Cannes 1990.

A Cine Tele Films, France Media, Scarabee Films production ; screenplay, Ferid Boughedir ; adaptation, Maryse Leon Garcia ; directed by Ferid Boughedir. -- New York, NY : International Film Circuit, 1990. Cast: Selim Boughedir, Mustapha Adouani, Rabia Ben Abdallah, Mohammed Driss, Carolyn Chelby. Producers: Ahmed Baha Attia, Eliane Stutterheim, and Hassen Daldoul. In Arabic with subtitles [Although it has been floating around film festival circuit for the better part of five years, Ferid Boughedir's feature Halfaouine (named after the small Tunisian town where it takes place), has finally received U.S. distribution, albeit of the most limited kind (I believe there's only one print). However, while the film contains a few memorable sequences, it's hardly worth the kind of intensive search that will be necessary to uncover the nearest screening. Regardless of the culture in which a child grows up, adolescence is always a confusing and difficult phase of the maturation process. In the Muslim lifestyle, where women's features are veiled and men assert themselves as the "superior gender", the male's transition from boyhood to manhood is all the more difficult. At the age of 12, Noura (Selim Boughedir) is regarded as neither a child nor an adult. His growing sexual curiosity has gotten him banned from the women's baths, where his mother took him when he was younger, but he is not yet old enough to be permitted to listen to discussions of "men's matters." His sense of isolation is profound. His father (Mustapha Adouani) is emotionally distant, yet warns him against closeness with his mother and aunt, saying that "men don't hang around with women." Noura's only real companionship comes from a local libertine named Salih (Mohammed Driss), who is the village's political outcast. Halfaouine is a coming-of-age story that, at its core, isn't much different from similar narratives set in the United States. Most of the film deals with Noura's attempts to come to grips with his impending adulthood, and sexual discovery is a large part of that growth. Like many boys his age, Noura is forever trying to sneak peeks at the female body. It's natural that in a society where women display little skin in public that there is great curiosity about what lies under all the clothing. Telling Noura's story isn't the movie's lone objective. Openly challenging religious traditions, the writer/director criticizes the cultural schism that exists between the sexes. As depicted in Halfaouine, women are objectified in Muslim society, and it's the lack of meaningful communication between husbands and wives that perpetuates the cycle. In addition to his social commentary, Ferid Boughedir paves the streets of Halfaouine with a political subtext that is difficult for an outsider to understand in anything but the broadest sense. Halfaouine contains interesting material, but a combination of subpar acting and poorly- realized characters stains the fabric of the production. Aside from Noura, there isn't a well- scripted personality in this film, and lead performer Selim Boughedir is not a naturally gifted actor. He seems to have two expressions: a blank look and a silly grin. Because of Boughedir's limited range, Noura comes across as emotionally stunted, which results in a picture that seems big on ideas but small on heart. Halfaouine is worth a look because of its perspective of a different culture, not because it tells an engrossing tale. © 1995 James Berardinelli

(afr,pres Video;341)

Hollywood Harems

HerWay ; produced and written by Tania Kamal-Eldin. Narrator, Tania Kamal-Eldin. New York, NY : Women Make Movies, 1999. 1 videocassette (25 min.)

A Documentary by Tania Kamal-Eldin. "Since its onset, American cinema has been drawn to the East. Hollywood fabricated in an eroticized and exoticized Orient charged with romance and adventure. Middle Easteners were often depicted negatively, typically as buffoons, villains, and sexual predators. Women's roles were mostly relegated to harem and dancing girls. Hollywood Harems examines these stereotypes, particularly women's roles. Footage from over three dozen feature films dating historically until the present are assembled together. In addition to harem and dancing girls, other fixed female icons which recur include vamps/temptresses, queens, concubines and slaves. Hollywood continues to produce films with Orientalist themes and characters; old stereotypes have been replaced with new ones. Harems and dancing girls have disappeared while the swashbucklers, sheiks, and lusty despots have been replaced with hijackers, kidnappers, and terrorists. Hollywood Harems will make viewers aware of the stereotypes of Middle Easteners in American cinema and consequently, how much negative representations foster repercussions.

A Review of Hollywood Harems by Dr. Alice Swensen

Hollywood Harems, written and produced by Tania Kamal-Eldin, is a 25 minute documentary on Hollywood's perceptions and fantasies of Middle Eastern women in films. Although women are the focus of her documentary, men are also examined through stars such as Rudolph Valentino.Kamal-Eldin has arranged a compact, lavish montage of approximately thirty films, historically until the present. Through the use of montage, Kamal-Eldin examines major themes or motifs incased in images of half-clothed dancing girls swirling about in glitzy, ersatz harems and robed men up to no good riding across the sands being pursued by white western males. Beginning with D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Middle Eastern women are depicted in scant costumes behaving in an implausible manner, in a bizarre hodge-podge of dancing, jerking, thrusting, leering, beckoning, and pleading. Monkeys in cages have more decorum, which of course is Kamal-Eldin's point: the dehumanization of the "other." The "other" in this case being that which is outside the culture producing the art of artifact. f in the second edition of the unabridged Random House Dictionary of the English Language, one of the definitions of "harem" reads "the women in a Muslim household including mothers, sisters, wives, concubines, daughters, entertainers, and servants," is it a surprise that the Hollywood perception of women in the Middle East is distorted? Harem women are lumped together as belonging to a "Muslim household." However, if a harem woman is signaled out or given an identity, she is most often cast as a vamp. The actress Theda Bara was the first of such vamps, the harem woman gone wrong, the man-topper, the voracious seducer. Interestingly, her name, according to her publicists, is an anagram for "Death Arab." Like a black widow, she was death to any man on whom she set her sights; And so were Salome, Delilah, Sheba, and Cleopatra, to name a few of the infamous "others", cinematic anti-heroes who also lured men to their demise. Usually silent, without identity, the harem woman is an amorphous erotic. As Kamal-Eldin's documentary shows, Hollywood indiscriminately heaps Middle Eastern women together with Far Eastern and Asian women-anyone who isn't white and Western becomes the exotic "other" and as such are a feast for the male "gaze." The "other" in this case is a product of male desire, specifically, of sexual fantasy splashed onto film for the entertainment of Western moviegoers. Hollywood Harems is packed with images giving rise to "how we see others," and consequently is extremely valuable in opening our eyes to stereotypes that dehumanize.

Dr Swensen is an Emeritus professor at the University of Northern Iowa in the English Dept. She has lived and worked in the Middle East for over ten years.

(Olin PN1995.9.W6 H665 1999)

Hunting bin Laden

A Frontline coproduction with Real Media, Inc. ; WGBH Educational Foundation ; produced and directed by Martin Smith ; written by Martin Smith and Lowell Bergman. Correspondent, Lowell Bergman. [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Video, c2000. 1 videocassette (60 min.) Closed-captioned. VHS format. Originally broadcast as a segment of the television program: Frontline.

On Friday, August 7, 1998, two cars exploded simultaneously at United States embassies in Africa, killing 268 people and injuring more than 5,000. The accused mastermind of the bombings was named immediately: Osama bin Laden, an exiled Saudi millionaire. This program investigates bin Laden, his followers, and the Africa bombings.

"Osama bin Laden is charged with masterminding the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, is believed to have had a role in the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, and now is a chief suspect in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. In FRONTLINE's "Hunting bin Laden," a Pulitzer Prize-nominated team of New York Times reporters and FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman investigates the man who has declared holy war on the U.S. -- a wealthy Saudi Arabian exile believed to be hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan with a $5 million bounty on his head."--2001 pbs online and wgbh/frontline

IRANIA "Glory of the Past" (VOL. 1-2)

Over 1700 full screen true color pictures; 60 Minutes of Theme Music ; 210 Minutes of Narration; 27 Minutes of motion Video 700 Pages of Documentary articles. Bilingual (Farsi - English) keyword or Phrase Search Print (Images & Articles) / Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, Tehran, Iran. Platform: Mac/Win

The world of arts and crafts have enriched by the Persian contribution. Numerous painter, potters, weavers, metalworkers, stone masons and others, who created objects of beauty and utility in the time of peace and periods of destruction, are remembered and presented in this fascinating CD collection. They established the traditions and bequeathed to later generations. Some achieved fame and many are anonymous. Their legacy is celbrated in the Irania "Glory of the Past" in its various artistic forms, from 3rd millennuim BC to 7th century AD.

(Olin Disk DS275 .I73 1998)

Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization

Documentary. "Produced by Maryland Public Television and Central Independent Television in association with NHK Enterprises." Producer & director, Peter Spry-Leverton. Writer and presenter, Michael Wood. Camera, Peter Harvey, Lynette Frewin ; editors, McDonald Brown, Anne Moore ; music, Edward Wynne, Hal Lindes. 1 videocassette (57 min.)

After thousands of years as a hunter/gatherer, man built the first cities 5,000 years ago on the banks of the Euphrates in Southern Iraq. Civilization as we know it began ... The Recent Gulf War was only the latest in a series of conflicts to befall this region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Saddam Hussein is but one of a long tradition of absolute rulers, from Assyria to Babylonia to the present, whose policies have brought disaster on what was once the first "Garden of Eden.

(Uris Video 852 )

Islam: A Closer Look

Producer, Abdul Malik Mujahid ; Narrator, editor, and Writer-Director, Jawad Jafry ; camera, Naeem Baig, et al... -- Taibah International Aid Association. -- Herndon, VA : Distributed by Islamica Sight and Sound, c1995. 1 videocassette (ca. 30 min.) : sd. col.; 1/2 in.

Short introduction to Islam. Discusses the tenets and modern practice of Islam. This documentary informs non-Muslims about Islamic beliefs and debunks misconceptions about Muslims, particularly focusing on North America. It features Prof. John Esposito, Hakeem Olajuwan, Nancy Ali, Abdullah Hakim, and Hamza Yusuf. )

(Olin BP163 .I73 1995)

Islam & democracy, women in Islam, Shari'ah Islamic law

Directed & edited by Bashir Matin ; produced by Sharaf Rehman, Bashir Matin ; writers, Sharaf Rehman, Bashir Matin.

Discusses her thesis on the compatibility of Islam and democracy and contemporary issues such as the education of women, polygamy, and gender equality in Islam. Also explains the relationship between islamic Law (Shariah) and juristic interpretation (Ijtihad)

(Olin, str1 BP173.6.I75 1997)

Islam: Empire of Faith

A Gardner Films production in association with PBS and Devillier Donegan Enterprises ; produced and directed by Robert Gardner ; Jonathan Grupper, series writer. Director of photography, Regis Becker ; editors, Christopher Schultz, David Grossbach ; music, Leonard Lionnet. Narrator: Ben Kingsley. [Baltimore, Md.?] : Gardner Films ; [Alexandria, Va.?] : distributed by PBS Home Video‚ 2000. 2 videocassettes (ca. 180 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. "An empires special." VHS. Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.

Documents the rise and growth of Islam throughout the world, from the birth of Prophet Muhammad in the 6th century through the peak of the Ottoman Empire 1000 years later. Discusses the impact of Islamic civilization on world history and culture.

(olin BP50 .I85 2000)



— Tuesday, May 8, 2001, 8:00 p.m. ET —

Between the fall of Rome and the European voyages of discovery, few events were more significant than the rise of Islam. Within a few centuries, the Islamic empires blossomed, projecting their power from Africa to the East Indies, from Spain to India. Inspired by the words of the prophet Muhammad, and led by caliphs and sultans, this political and religious expansion remains unequaled in speed, geographic size and endurance.

ISLAM: EMPIRE OF FAITH, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley, airs on PBS Tuesday, May 8, 2001, 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). The two-and-a-half-hour program tells the story of the great sweep of Islamic power and faith during its first 1,000 years — from the birth of the prophet Muhammad to the peak of the Ottoman Empire under the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent. Historical re-enactments and a remarkable exposition of Islamic art, artifacts and architecture are combined with interviews with scholars to recount the rise of early Islamic civilization.

Increasingly, scholars and historians are recognizing the profound impact that Islamic civilization has had on Western culture and world history. Islam was the conduit for the intellectual legacies of Greece, Egypt and China; its geographic and cultural breadth brought immeasurable advances in literature, the arts, science and medicine to the Western world of the Middle Ages. It was the seed for the European Renaissance and was a defining force against which the West pushed — in war, trade and religion.

* "The Messenger" (8:00 p.m. ET) Through the extraordinary life of the prophet Muhammad and his simple but revolutionary message, the first episode introduces the dramatic story of Islam's rise. The program covers the revelation and early writing of the Koran, the creation of the first mosque, the persecution suffered by the first Muslims and the major battles fought by Muhammad and his followers to establish the new religion. The rapid religious, cultural and political expansion of Islam overwhelms the empires of Persia and Byzantium, creating a new empire larger than Rome.

"The Awakening" (9:00 p.m. ET) Episode two examines the flowering of Islam intoone of the great civilizations in history. Culture and goods flow freely throughout a large empire. Islamic principles and influence are spread further, affecting the intellectual development of the West. Arabic becomes the language of learning, and achievements in art, architecture, science and medicine flourish. The episode also tells the story of the Crusades and describes the recapture of Jerusalem by Saladin the Great, ending with the devastating Mongol invasion of Islamic lands.

"The Ottomans" (10:00 p.m. ET) The final segment reveals the dramatic transformation of Islam resulting from the Mongol invasion. Nomads enlisted by Muslims to fight the Mongols stake their own claims and become known as Ottomans. The Ottomans create a new empire that expands westward into Christian territories. Suleyman the Magnificent shapes the Ottomans into a military powerhouse and an empire of wealth and sophistication, which threatens the power centers of Europe and the empire of the Persian Safavids before falling to enemies from within.

The series includes the participation of important scholars of Islamic culture, including Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair, authors of the companion book, Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power, and Dr. Esin Atil, retired curator of Islamic Art at the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery.

TV: Bowing Down Before a Great Religion --- A PBS Documentary Finds Much To Praise in a History of Islam But Stays Silent on Repression

Wall Street Journal; New York, N.Y.; May 7, 2001; By Claudia Rosett;


THE WORTHY AIM of "Islam: Empire of Faith" -- billed by PBS as the first prime-time special on the roots of Islam -- is to show us that, contrary to Western cliche, Islam is not a wellhead of terrorist bombers and Middle-Eastern mayhem, but one of the world's great and enlightened religions, its rich history deeply entwined with the West.

Okay, I'm ready to learn, and this two-and-a-half-hour program pairs scholarly commentary with an enticing, Lawrence of Arabia, big-screen feel. Produced and directed by seven-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rob Gardner, narrated by actor Ben Kingsley, featuring assorted experts on Islam and filmed in places such as Iran, Syria and Turkey, "Islam: Empire of Faith" (tomorrow, 8 to 10:30 p.m. EST) provides a tour of Islamic civilization spanning 1,000 years, from the birth of Mohammed circa 570 A.D. to the death of Suleyman the Magnificent in 1566. "In the unfolding of history, Islamic civilization has been one of humanity's grandest achievements," intones Mr. Kingsley. But, he adds, "For the West, much of the history of Islam has been obscured behind a veil of fear and misunderstanding."

Courage may not be quite the right word. The advance tape of this show, for example, carries a lovely picture of Mohammed. To many Muslims, such images are taboo. But that's not how history always played out. This picture is a 14th-century illustration of a famous manuscript by someone who was himself a Muslim, living 800 years ago in then-cosmopolitan Persia (now Iran) -- a statesman and historian named Rashid al-Din. And the bottom line is that you won't see this picture on the air Tuesday night. A Muslim lobbying group called the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, based in Washington, objected last month to the broadcasting of this image of Mohammed. In deference to CAIR, and with disregard to the heights of 14th-century Islamic art and some of the more tolerant voices among Muslims today, PBS asked Mr. Gardner to edit out Mohammed's face. He did -- leaving only the hands. Some might call this censorship. Mr. Gardner says he wasn't coerced and "it wasn't a big deal." But taken together with the worshipful tenor of the entire program, this incident underscores an important issue. It is precisely the more extreme practitioners of Islam who are the touchiest. Letting them set the agenda runs counter to precisely the message PBS is trying to send -- that Islam is at core a tolerant faith.

Demystifying Islam

New York Times; New York, N.Y.; May 6, 2001; Elaine Sciolino;


The special, which has its premiere Tuesday night, serves as a visually rich primer of the first 1,000 years of Islam, from the birth of the Prophet Muhammad to the height of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent, the 16th-century emperor. Narrated by the British actor Ben Kingsley, it focuses on culture and history more than on religious themes and is being touted as the ''first American prime-time television event'' to address the culture and history of Islam. Viewers learn that Muslim doctors were removing cataracts surgically a thousand years before their counterparts in the West, that Europeans learned to make paper from the Muslims and that despite Islamic laws that discriminate against women, Hadija, a widow who became Muhammad's wife, was also a wealthy businesswoman in her own right. (She proposed to him.)

Of course, two and a half hours is not enough to cover the history of Islam, and much about the religion of omitted. Some 80 percent of Iranians, for example, are Shiites, but there is no clear explanation of the split between Sunnis and Shiites after the death of Muhammad, which is crucial to understanding the divisions in Islam today. (The split had to do with power: who should succeed Muhammad as the political and spiritual leader of the Muslims. The majority Sunnis argued that the elders of the community would elect a leader, or caliph, but the minority Shiites insisted that only descendants of Muhammad and his family could succeed him. They demanded that Ali, the prophet's son-in-law, replace him. The slaughter of Muhammad's grandson, Hussein, by the Sunnis in A.D. 680 became the seminal event in Shiite history. And because many of his followers had failed to come to his aid during the battle, the Shiites were left with both the burden of Sunni oppression and a permanent guilt complex.)

Documentary aims to dispel Islamic stereotypes

The Dallas Morning News / 05/05/2001

By STEVE RABEY / Religion News Service

Mention Islam and many Americans envision images of Koran-quoting, gun-toting extremists. A stunning new PBS documentary airing Tuesday aims to change that by focusing on the glories of Islamic culture. Emmy Award-winning producer Robert Gardner spent nearly three years working in seven countries to create Islam: Empire of Faith, America's first major prime-time examination of the movement founded 14 centuries ago by the Prophet Mohammed. "We're seeing the beginning of an opening up of American attitudes toward Islam rather than focusing on the negative images," says Mr. Gardner, who partnered with an Iranian film company. "Over the centuries, Islamic culture has enjoyed tremendous wealth and power, which allowed for the construction of mosques that make tremendous architectural statements about the glory of God," says Mr. Gardner, who was raised Episcopalian but is "extremely open to the spiritual beliefs of other people." Beginning with the birth of Mohammed around 570 and continuing through the death of the Ottoman ruler Suleyman the Magnificent in 1566, the program examines Islam's first millennium. In three fast-paced segments, the program examines Mohammed's life and message; the flowering of Islamic civilization; and the rise of the Ottoman empire. The documentary shows how a faith that has more than 1 billion adherents – nearly a quarter of the world's population – has an extensive cultural legacy, including our system of numerals; lasting contributions to science, medicine, mathematics, optics and scholarship; and traditions of social justice and religious tolerance. Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair wrote the companion book for the series, Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power. They write glowingly about Islam's achievements: "At a time when unwashed Europeans in northern forests wore leather jerkins and ate roast game and gruel when they weren't beating each other over the head with clubs to solve disputes, bathed and perfumed Muslims inhabited splendid palaces with running water and sanitation systems, dressed in silken robes, and ate haute cuisine off fine porcelain, while sitting on plush carpets discussing the subtleties of ancient Greek philosophy." One of the most fascinating segments of the PBS program looks at the Crusades from an Islamic perspective. The documentary contrasts the ruthlessness of the Christian Crusaders with the magnanimity of the Islamic ruler Saladin, who didn't retaliate against Christian residents when he reclaimed Jerusalem after 1187. But Mr. Gardner portrays Islam's enemies fairly. "As a Christian, I would never want to be evaluated by the standards of the Crusaders," he says, "just as Buddhists wouldn't want to be compared to the extremists who released poison gas into Japan's subway system."

By Ayub Khan

Until very recently, the American media has largely presented Islam and Muslims in a very biased, distorted and misleading way. However, this trend was broken by Emmy Award winning director-producer Robert Gardner in his masterful production of Islam: Empire of Faith, premiering this Tuesday (May 8, 2001) on PBS. The two-and-a-half hour documentary is unlike any other you have ever seen. It is an amazing story of the rise of the Islamic faith and power, beginning with the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and covering the first thousand years of the Islamic Empire up to its peak during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent. Narrated by Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley (of Gandhi fame), the documentary is the first American primetime television program to address the history and culture of Islam.

The origins of Islam are introduced as the life of the Holy Prophet and the story of how his simple but revolutionary message changed the tide of history forever are told. The revelation and preservation of the Qur'an, the trials and tribulations of the Prophet (PBUH) and the early Muslims, their migration, and the establishment of the first community in Medina are documented in vivid detail.

It is recounted how, within the short span of 50 years, a movement that arose in an unknown quarter of the Arabian Desert challenged the great Persian and Byzantium empires, and went on to create an empire larger than Rome. Author Michael Sells' commentary on the revelation of the Qur'an and its message of unity of God is most interesting and compelling.

The program then describes the consolidation and further expansion of the faith, and its transformation into a civilization that was unparalleled in scope. Muslims, unlike the early Christians, did not shy away from scientific investigation. Instead, they collected scientific literature from all over the world and translated it into Arabic. They were not content with just accumulating material either, but they went a step further and laid down the foundations of modern science by introducing the scientific method.

The program then describes the consolidation and further expansion of the faith, and its transformation into a civilization that was unparalleled in scope. Muslims, unlike the early Christians, did not shy away from scientific investigation. Instead, they collected scientific literature from all over the world and translated it into Arabic. They were not content with just accumulating material either, but they went a step further and laid down the foundations of modern science by introducing the scientific method. The ingenuity of Muslim scientists is illustrated through several examples. Muslims were the first to build hospitals to be primarily run by religious endowments (awqaf). All types of diseases, including mental illnesses, were treated in these hospitals.

Muslims were also the first to surgically remove cataracts using a hollow needle. The work of Ibn Al Haytham, the father of optics, proved to be the precursor of the modern camera.

Trade also flourished during this time, with several novel methods being introduced. Both people and goods could move freely throughout the expansive empire, unhampered by fear or coercion. The sakk, the equivalent of the modern day check, was also introduced by Muslims, freeing travelers from carrying large sums of cash.

All of these achievements were, however, threatened by the arrival of the Crusaders who indulged in a brutal blood bath and the sacking of several Muslim cities - including Jerusalem, which was recaptured by Salahuddin Ayyubi. He didn't retaliate with the brutal force of the crusaders though; rather, he adopted a lenient attitude towards them. The commentary by Carol Hillenbrand, author of the recently released book Crusades: Muslim Perspectives, provides a deep insight into the times.

The Islamic empire was then struck by a second catastrophe, the Mongol invasion, during which many lives and a huge part of its intellectual heritage was lost. The same Mongols then converted to Islam, resulting in a dramatic transformation of the empire. Nomads from Central Asia who worked asmercenaries for the Mongols, held their own aspirations for power and went on to lay the foundations for the Ottoman Empire. Once in place, the Ottoman Empire extended its boundaries further west, reaching its pinnacle during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent who, true to his title, molded the Ottomans into a military powerhouse with a prosperous, refined and sophisticated empire.

After reaching the heights of his greatness, Suleyman fell prey to enemies from within - partly due tothe machinations of his Slavic-born wife. The documentary reveals at this point the fact that, contrary to popular perceptions in the west, there was nothing immoral in the harem of the Sultans. It was, in fact, just a home for the king, his wife, and children.

Islam: Empire of Faith cost $1.5 million dollars and took three years to make, being shot in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Spain and Turkey. Instead of utilizing conventional documentary techniques that employ the use of pans and tilts of still pictures along with landscapes and interviews, Gardner used techniques that are usually reserved for big budget motion pictures. In order to create a sense of pre-photographic history, large-scale costumed reenactments as well as contemporary scenes of Islamic architecture and city life were used. Famed Iranian art director Majid Mirfakhraei assisted Gardner here with 300 colorful costumes, dozens of camels, horses, and armies of soldiers. Mirfakhraei also built a four-story replica of the Kaaba, as a well as an entire village and the ruins of Baghdad for the production.

While the reenactments in general succeeded in conveying an authentic sense of the times, one scene in particular was inaccurate. In a depiction of the announcement of the death of the Prophet (PBUH), men are shown dancing with swords to the beat of the drum and women are shown beating their heads and wailing. Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the Prophet's teachings would know that this kind of behavior is expressly prohibited in Islam, and it certainly was not the case following his death.

Fortunately, Gardner avoided controversy by agreeing to alter a 14th century imaginary painting of the Prophet after a request from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The painting shows the Prophet helping to place the black stone at the Kaaba. Speaking to the Baltimore Sun on May 4th, Gardner said, "After talking to PBS and various scholars, what we agreed to was a small re-animation of one shot of a 14th century painting of Muhammad, so that you won't see his face. But you will still see the Prophet. Basically, we're just showing the image from a different angle" (It is hypocritical for Muslims to criticize non-Muslims for using pictures of the Prophet while turning a blind eye when some Muslims themselves do it. For example, the Islamic Center of Beverly Hills recently published an imaginary drawing of the Prophet, yet no action has been taken against them).

Islam: Empire of Faith takes viewers on an extraordinary journey into the lost grandeur of the Islamic empire. You will see the humble beginnings of the Islamic faith in the Arabian desert, its spectacular spread within a short span of time, scientific achievements of Muslims that laid the foundations of modern science, and the first-ever cataract surgery. You'll take a peep into the great halls of Al Hambra, weep at the destruction of Islamic cities by the Crusaders and Mongols, and wonder at the magnificence of Suleyman. Swooping camera movements with awe-inspiring architecture and rich colorful settings combined with expert commentary by top scholars from American Universities will keep you glued to your television for the entire program. Islam: Empire of Faith, a production inspired by love and made possible by considerable labor, will go a long way in dispelling the negative image of Islam in America and prove to be a genuine trendsetter in this regard.

Islamic conversations

Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences / Channel Four (Great Britain), c1994. 5 videocassettes (5 x 30 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

(Olin,str1 BP163 .I84 1994 / uris Video 1540 / uris Video 1515 / uris Video 1521 / uris Video 1520 / uris Video 1519)

The Islamic mind / with Seyyed Hossein Nasr

from WNET/New York, WTTW/Chicago, WTVS/Detroit ; a production of Public Affairs Television, inc. ; executive producers, Judith Davidson Moyers, Bill Moyers ; produced by Judy Epstein, Andie Tucker. Director of photography, Joel Shapiro; researcher, Rebecca Jo Wharton; edited by Scott P. Doniger. "A world of ideas with Bill Moyers." Beverly Hills, CA : PBS Video, c1990. 1 videocassette (28 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.

In a conversation with Bill Moyers, Islamic scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr discusses how we can have peace in the Middle East. He talks about the root of Islam's attitudes toward the West, how Islam and the West can coexist and the current Western presence in the Middle East.

(Uris Video 693)

The Islamic wave

A Journeyman Pictures production ; in association with Films for the Humanities & Sciences ; and ABC Australia. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2000. 1 videocassette (50 min) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Film for the Humanities & Sciences : FFH 10689. Author/editor, Keely Purdue.

Rising above the myths and misinformation surrounding Islam, one fact is clear: the Muslim religion is growing as never before. This program surveys the sociopolitical landscape of Islamic hotspots in the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan, and elsewhere. Featuring commentary by General Pervez Musharraf, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Dr. Hasan al-Turabi, and other key figures, the balanced documentary provides background on the world's second-largest religion, examines Islam's increasing popularity, and considers the use of violence by Muslim extremists to attain their goals.

Jihad in America

Reported by Steven Emerson ; produced by SAE Productions, Inc. Alexandria, Va. : PBS Video, c1994. 1 videocassette (57 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

The program features videos of militants' meetings in the U.S., interviews with leading law enforcement and government officials, and discussion about civil liberties issues in dealing with the alleged threat of terrorism.

(Olin BP182 .J54 1994)

Jomeh = Jum°ah

Director: Yekta Panah. 1 videocassette (98 min.) In Farsi with white English subtitles.

(olin PN1997 .J861 2001)

Synopsis: The film focuses on a young Afghan man living and working in Iran. An easy going fellow who falls in love with a Persian girl from the nearby village. Cultural differences and legal restrictions on Afghan men to marry Iranian women makes it almost impossible for this young couple to marry each other. However "Jomeh" is not an ordinary Afghan man, he is a man in Love ...

Khaneh, ye doust kojast [Where is my friend's house?]

Director: Abbas Kiarostami. Cast: Babak Ahmadpour, Ahmad Ahmadpour, Khodabakhsh Defaie. Colour, 35mm, in Farsi with English subtitles. 90 mins. [Orig. prod. 1987]. Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. -- Chicago, IL : Facets Video, c1996. (Films from Iran)

A boy faces challenges and obstacles while searching for his friend.

The sublime sweetness and simplicity of Abbas Kiarostami's films cannot be easily defined. No one who has seen Where is the Friend's House? will ever forget it, yet merely recounting the plot or describing the neo-realist style comes nowhere near the actual experience (Dimitri Eipides, Toronto I.F.F.). Inspired by a poem by Iranian philosopher Sohrab Sepehri, Where is the Friend's House? has eight-year-old Ahmad discovering, to his dismay, that he has accidently taken home the notebook of school chum Mohammad-Reza. Mohammad-Reza has already been threatened with expulsion for failure to do his homework, so young Ahmad sets off to the next village in search of his friend's house, only to encounter a labyrinthine maze of narrow alleys, winding streets, and identical-looking dwellings -- and unhelpful adults who obstruct his progress at every turn. Ahmads frustrated odyssey achieves near-mythic proportions; the subtle, lyrical, neorealist style, convincing performances from a non-professional cast, and sensitive, enlightened portrayal of the lives of children showcase Kiarostami's great gifts at their very finest. Winner of numerous international honours, including a major prize at Locarno, Where is the Friend's House? is the sort of humanist masterwork which would have become an art house classic in the past. . . a work of great resonance and beauty (Cinémathèque Ontario). Constructed like a mystical Persian poem. . . between realism and phantasmagoria (Slim Nassib).

(Olin,lim PN;1997 K43;1999)

Last Images of War

Telesis Productions International; directed, photographed, and edited by Stephen Olsson and Scott Andrews; written by Stephen Olsson. -- Berkeley, CA : University of California Extension, Center for Media and Independent Learning c1992. 1 videocassette (64 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. Produced by Stephen Olsson and Scott Andrews in association with the BBC and Dox Delux for Telesis Productions International. Program is about four international photojournalists: Jim Linelof (USA), Andy Skrzypkowiak (United Kingdom), Naoko Nanjo (Japan), and Sasha Sekretaryov (USSR), who went to Afghanistan and never returned.

Examines the stories of four journalists who died covering Afghanistan's war against Soviet occupation, in which one and a half million Afghans died during nine years of continuous warfare from 1979 to 1988. Includes footage and journal entries from the four journalists: Andy Skrzypkowiak, Jim Lindelof, Naoko Nanjo, and Sasha Sckretaryov. Interviews the family members and colleagues of the journalists who covered the Afghanistan war and traveled with the Afghan guerilla warriors, the Mujahideen. Draws attention to the massive destruction of the Afghan population and countryside, the determination of the Afghan resistance, and the sorrow of those affected by the war. Narrated by Ben Kingsley.

Lebanon... Imprisoned Splendor

Narrateproduced, directed, written and narrated by Daizy Gedeon.Dream Creations International, c1997. 1 videocassette (61 min.). Director of photography, Paul Tait ; editor, Guillermo Martin Sepulveda. Special guest, Omar Sharif. Videocassette release of a 1996 documentary film.

Australian filmmaker Daizy Gedeon returns to the land from which her family emigrated, to discover its natural beauty, rich history, and deeply tolerant peoples. On April 13, 1975, war erupted in Lebanon, devastating the country for more than 17 years. But before and beyond the war exists a romantic, exciting, historic land that has been visited and blessed by Jesus Christ; conquered by Alexander the Great; inspired by the Islamic teachings of Prophet Mohammed; captured by the Ottoman Turks; controlled by France ...but liberated by the Lebanese. Join Omar Sharif as he shares with you his personal experiences and joys about Lebanon in this award-winning film.

(Olin,str1 DS80.9 .L43x 1997)


Based on a story by Mahnaz Ansarian.Produced by Dariush Mehrjui and Faramarz Farazmand ; screenplay by Mehrjui ; directed by Mehrjui. Cinematography, Mahmud Klari ; editor, Mostafa Kherqepush ; music by Keivan Jahansahi. WITH: Leila Hatami, Ali Mosaffa, Jamileh Sheikhi, Amir Pievar, Mohammad Reza Sharifinia, Turan Mehrzad, Shaqayeq Farahani.

1 videocassette (129 minutes), color, Farsi w/English subtitles. Originally produced as a motion picture in Iran in 1996.

Reza and Leila, an attractive and affluent young couple deeply in love and recently married, discover that Leila is unable to conceive. To Reza it doesn't matter, his mother feels otherwise. Citing traditions and wishing the family line to continue, she insists Reza take a second wife.

olin PN1997 .L452 1997

Review Leila: Dariush Mehrjui's Post-Revolution Masterpiece

Life and nothing more (Zendegi va digar hich) [And Life Goes On]

(Orign. 1992). Director: Abbas Kiarostami. Cast: Farhad Keradmand, Puya Pievar. Colour, 35mm, in Farsi with English subtitles. 91 mins. Vid. -- Chicago, IL : Facets Video, c1996.

A father and son travel to Quoker and meet earthquake survivors who desperately and valiantly work to reconstruct their lives. The film investigates the aftermath of a devastating 1990 earthquake which killed some 50,000 people in northern Iran.

Made in the aftermath of a 1990 earthquake which killed 50,000 people in Northern Iran -- and breaking the boundaries of documentary and drama in the utterly unique (and extreme) Kiarostami fashion -- the extraordinary And Life Goes On appears to be a cinema verité record of a journey Kiarostami and his son made to the devastated village of Qouker, where they attempt to discover the fate of the two young boys who played Ahmad and Mohammad-Reza in Kiarostami's Where is the Friend's House? The film is only apparently a documentary, however; its filmmaker-and-son principals are in fact played by actors; its seemingly extemporaneous interviews and unplanned shots were all carefully scripted and blocked out beforehand; the destruction it records was sometimes re-created for the cameras. That said, Kiarostami's non-professional cast is made up of earthquake survivors playing earthquake survivors, and, for all its formal daring and intrigue, this startling, moving work offers poignant proof of the ability of the human spirit to overcome the worst adversity. A masterpiece. . . In many ways the most beautiful and powerful Iranian film Ive seen (Jonathan Rosenbaum). Part fiction, part documentary, part road movie and all masterpiece (Cinémathèque Ontario). Truly amazing. . . compelling testimony to Kiarostami's artistry. He has taken truth, made it into fiction and created a work as powerful as it is profound (Vancouver I.F.F.). A jewel . . . [with] a splendid closing sequence that deserves its place in film history. . . [and] makes for a euphoric climax (Deborah Young, Variety).

(Olin,str1 PN1997 Z46 1999)

Living Islam

Presented by Akbar Ahmed. A BBC-TV production in association with Ambrose Video and the I.I.S. New York, NY : ‚b Ambrose Video Publishing, ‚c c1993. 6 videocassettes (300 min.) : ‚b sd., col. ; ‚c 1/2 in. VHS.

v. 1. Foundations / producer, Hugh Kriwaczek -- v. 2. Challenge of the past / producer, Hugh Purcell -- v. 3. Struggling with modernity / producer, John Drori -- v. 4. Paradise lies at the feet of the mother / John Percival -- v. 5. Among the non-believers / producer, John Drori -- v. 6. Last crusade / producer, John Percival.

A series both about Islam as a living idea and how the idea is lived. It is a tour round the history, the faith and cultures of Islam. Focuses on what it mean to be Muslim in today's world, living with the great tradition of a world religion, and the little traditions of local, regional and village cultures.

(Olin, BP163 .L58x 1993)

Looking For Answers (Frontline)

60 minutes

On Oct. 7, 2001, as U.S. bombs and cruise missiles hit targets in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden released a videotape calling for Muslims around the world to join his cause. Sitting next to him was Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man some call the real mastermind behind bin Laden's terrorist network. Head of the radical Egyptian group Islamic Jihad, al-Zawahiri joined forces with bin Laden's Al Qaeda in 1998 to form the World Islamic Front for Fighting Crusaders and Jews. FRONTLINE's documentary "Looking for Answers," produced in partnership with The New York Times, investigates the roots of the Islamic terrorist network, and the anti-American hatred that feeds it, and traces how the trajectories of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri met in the mountains of Afghanistan.

As FRONTLINE and The New York Times discover, the roots of the hatred are not found in Afghanistan but in the lands of two crucial U.S. allies in the Islamic world: Egypt and Saudi Arabia. "When we first reported on bin Laden in 1999, we discovered that the Egyptians played a crucial role in the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa," says FRONTLINE producer Martin Smith. "We thought it was time to go back to the roots of terror and take a closer look at why so many of bin Laden's recruits come from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other countries where critical battles against terrorism must be fought."

The Islamic movement in Egypt was born in the 1920s. Its goal: to build a society based on simple Islamic values. But this clashed with the Egyptian constitution, which provides for a secular democracy. For decades, violent conflict followed. In 1981 Islamic militants succeeded in assassinating Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat before many of the most violent among them were driven from the country. Osama bin Laden would later recruit exiled Egyptian militants to help wage war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Many have stayed on to help him wage a war of terror on the United States and its allies.

Many of Osama bin Laden's associates also come from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is home to one of the strictest forms of Islam and promotes the adoption of Islamic law throughout the world. Though he was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and disowned by his powerful family in 1994, bin Laden secretly continues to raise much of the funding for his fight against Western ideas and influence from wealthy Saudi sympathizers.

But the Saudi government remains a friend of the United States and officially opposes bin Laden and his aims. Ironically, as Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan points out, bin Laden was once the beneficiary of Saudi-U.S. ties. "Bin Laden used to come to us when America was helping our brother mujahedeens in Afghanistan to get rid of the communists," he tells FRONTLINE. "We never gave him the weight that now everybody is giving him. We just thought he was a nuisance."

Prince Bandar admits he may have underestimated bin Laden. It seems U.S. intelligence may have underestimated him as well. Michael Sheehan, head of counterterrorism at the State Department during the Clinton administration, says, "This is a surprise, the extent of this operation. ... We knew there was some terrorist activity in the U.S., we knew that this organization was continuing its threats against the United States. ... But the audacity, the cruelty of this attack, surprised me."


Al-Makhdu°un = The Dupes

Directed by Tawfik Saleh. Presented by Al-Muassisat al-'Amah li al-Sinama ; music, Sulhi al-Wadi ; editor, Sahib Haddad ; photography, Bahjat Haydar ; screenplay and director, Tawfiq Salih. 1 videocassette (107 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in. Arabic with English subtitles. With: Muhammad Khayr Halwami, Bassam Lutfi, Salih Khalqi, Abd al-Rahman Al Rashi.

A stark black and white film, traces the destinies of three Palestinian refugees brought together by disposession, despair and hope for a better future. The setting is Iraq in the 1950s and the protagonists, concealed in the steel tank of a truck, are trying to make their way across the border into Kuwait, the "promised land." A masterful adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani's acclaimed novella, Men Under the Sun, The Dupes is also one of the first Arab films to address the Palestinian predicament.

(Olin PN1997 .M2546 1992)

Marriage of the blessed = Arusi-ye Khuban

Written & directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Cinematography, Ali Reza Zarrindast ; editor, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Cast: Mahmud Bigham, Roya Nonahali, Mohsen Zehtab, Ebrahim Abadi, Hossein Moslemi.

(olin PN1997 .A782 2001)

Haji, a shell-shocked veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, struggles to find meaning in his life when he returns to his job as a photojournalist. Disturbed by the contrast between the soldiers sacrificing their lives and the indifference of the local population of Tehran, he sinks into depression. Mehri, his fiancee, hopes to speed his recovery by hastening their wedding, but they find they must defy the hyprocrisy of their families and authorities as they strive to create a life together.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A film that is political in nature and very controversial for the Iranian authorities to deal with, as it shows the effects of shell-shock and a mental breakdown in a photojournalist returning from the frontlines of the Iraq-Iran war. Haji (Mahmud Bigham) has been in a hospital mental asylum recovering from the effects of the war explosives and the doctor dismisses him to go home and recover, advising his family that he should seek a life of gaiety and should get married. Battling with his depression, Haji feels it's unlikely he will ever recover. When his fiancée Mehri (Roya) feels he should just surround himself with pleasant things, he instead is filled with images of starving children in Africa and of the images that still haunt him when he covered the conflict in Lebanon. Her wealthy merchant family does not approve of this marriage, but she is attracted to the goodness she sees in him. Returning to his newspaper, he's assigned to take photos of life in Tehran. He is determined to take photos of the poor and the homeless, showing the failures of the Islamic Revolution to eradicate poverty as promised and live up to their ideals. This was a revolution the director was a supporter of, but has now gotten into trouble with the censors because of his film's content. What he sees is that things are economically the same as before the revolution and this is a slap in the face of the post-Khomeini government. When he presents these human condition photos of all the poverty he sees in the city to his newspaper editor, they are discarded and no newspaper will publish them. To lift his spirits, Haji's fiancée rushes up their wedding plans against her father's wishes. At the banquet he gives a solemn toast, dampening the festivities as he says in repeated hysterical tones: "Eat the food robbed from the poor--robbed food tastes best." The film was unique, honest, raw, and daring. Makhmalbaf shows a great passion for dealing with the ironies of modern Iran. REVIEWED ON 10/12/2001 GRADE: B Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

The Message : the story of Islam

Cast: Anthony Quinn, Irene Pappas, Michael Ansara, Johnny Sekka, Michael Forest ; produced and directed by Moustapha Akkad ; screenplay written by H.A.L. Craig. Editor, John Bloom ; music, Maurice Jarre ; photography, Jack Hilyard.

Widescreen ed. A Filmco International production Troy, MI : distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1998. 2 videocassettes (228 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. VHS format ; hi-fi, stereo, digitally mastered. Rated PG. Includes the documentary "The making of an epic" and English and Arabic theatrical trailers.

The dramatic story of Muhammed, the prophet who founded Islam.

(Olin, PN1997 .M47x 1998)


A presentation of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers; [presented by] Maryknoll Magazine ; produced by Hallel Communications ; producer, William Grimm ; director, George Torok. Camera, George Torok ; assistant editor, Cathy De Marco ; music, Bill Montvilo. Host, Bill Grimm. Maryknoll, N.Y. : Maryknoll World Productions, [c1992]. 1 videocassette (29 min.) : sd., col.

"The Islamic faith is a way of life for 900 million people, yet it remains a mystery to most Westerners. This introduction starts at a Muslim Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, and explores the common roots of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. 1992. (28 minutes)" Maryknoll Mission Association--Maryknoll World Productions

(olin BP161.2 .M67x 1992)

Muhammad : the voice of God

written and directed by Eike Schmitz and Sissy von Westphalen ; produced by Atlantis-Film for ZDF. Directors of photography, Manfred Pelz, Jèorg Jeshel ; editor, Bernd Euscher ; music, Michael Duwe, Torsten Sense ; narrator, Armin Schwing. Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2000. 1 videocassette (44 min.) : sd., col.

This program narrates the biography of Muhammad, a merchant from Mecca, reportedly called by Allah to be his prophet and spread the Muslim faith. Why was Islam so readily accepted by so many? What is the secret of Islam's appeal? And why do many non-Muslims fear the religion's spread? The answers to these and many other questions are powerfully illustrated by footage of holy sites and rituals, as well as modern desert life in Saudi Arabia-- so little changed, in many ways, since Muhammad's time.

(olin,str1 BP75 .M853x 2000)

al-Mujtama` al-madani yuwajih al-istibdad : Munazarah bayna al-Duktur Sad al-Din Ibrahim wa-al-Rais al-Libi Muammar al-Qaddafi

A recording of the television program: al-Ittijah al-Muakis / TV al-Jazirah.

Faysal al-Qasim interviews Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim regarding Libya's relations with other African and Arab countries.

(Olin, DT236.Q26 M85 1998a)

Muslims (DVD) PBS Frontline Documentary

Misconceptions and lack of understanding dominate America's perception of Islam, the world's second largest and fastest-growing religion. Muslims takes an in-depth look at what it means to be a Muslim in the 21st century. Filmed in Egypt, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria and the United States, Muslims explores the influence of culture and politics on religion, and provides a deeper understanding of the political forces at work among Muslims around the world. The film emphasizes Islam's kinship with Christianity and Judaism, and looks at diverse interpretations of Islam among the Muslim people.


"The PBS program, a report on the many forms Islam takes around the world, is a typical "Frontline" effort, inspired by the big headlines but doggedly digging beyond them. At two hours, with its cameras roaming from Iraq to Nigeria to the suburbs of Chicago, it's also more expansive than most. With more than a billion Muslims on the planet, it's hardly possible to paint a family portrait. Yet "Muslims" elicits enough different viewpoints from such a broad variety of human beings to make it a valuable primer for outsiders."-- -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Even after all the focus on it last fall, Islam likely remains murky to most American non-Muslims. Enter PBS' "Frontline" with a careful and respectful portrait of the religion as it is practiced throughout the world. ...the reward is the realization of how varied and variable the practice of Islam is, from Iran to Malaysia to suburban Bridgeview... (The film tells) personal stories in the various countries that illuminate the stresses on Muslims trying to fit in with, alter or react against contemporary culture."--Chicago Tribune

"This fascinating... program has taken on the mammoth task of explaining the complexities of Islamic culture and politics... The project was conceived in 1999 as a humanistic (and now prescient) inquiry aimed at providing Americans with a more informed vision of Muslims, including the significant number (an estimated five million to seven million) who live in the United States. Filming began a year ago; halfway through production the World Trade Center was attacked. The attack and subsequent events in Israel give "Muslims" a greater sense of immediacy."--The New York Times

Muslims: A Clear Picture of Islam

"It's taken decades upon decades for the global forces in play to create a world-changing event on the scale of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks. Yet in one two-hour block tonight, 'Muslims' manages to bring a crystalline focus to issues of kaleidoscopic complexity, resulting in an all-too-rare "special" that is worthy of that tag.

"The 'Frontline' production takes viewers on an international tour of the religion's strongholds in places such as Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Turkey, showing the myriad gradations and interpretations that exist, helping to shatter the monolithic mask that Islam wears for many here in the West."

"'With the events of Sept. 11,' says Nigerian attorney Muzzammil Hanga, 'the West is frantically trying to establish two worlds--the forward-looking Western world and backward, uncivilized Islamic world.' But the program also outlines the conflicts that exist within many of the countries between Muslim traditionalists and those in the religion who favor more personal freedom and equality between the sexes. "We found that it is not Islam that discriminates against women," says feminist activist Zainah Anwar in Malaysia. 'It is not the verses in the Koran, it is the way that these verses have been interpreted by men living in patriarchal societies who wish to maintain their dominance, and their superiority and control over women.' In the second hour, the focus shifts from the taxis festooned with images of Osama bin Laden in Nigeria to the cars and homes in the U.S. draped in American flags, and what the post-9/11 political climate means to Muslims here. "'I look at Muslims in the U.S. as being in a very unique position to be able to produce a model for how Islam can be lived [alongside] other religions,' says an Illinois man, perhaps echoing the hopes of all of us."--By Mark Sachs, L. A. Times

Muslims in America: Islam in Exile

This program examines the surprisingly rapid growth of Islam in the heart of America's Bible Belt, a predominantly fundamentalist Christian locale. Yet for Muslims living in Appalachia, the daily challenge lies not so much in acceptance by their neighbors as with practicing their religion in a country whose overall culture is so often at odds with their own beliefs. Interviews with refugees living in the region and with experts in American Islam reveal the resiliency of a faith that can thrive in exile. The history of Islam, Islamic contributions to the arts and sciences, and common ground between Muslims and Christians are also highlighted. (60 minutes, color)

Muslims in America: the misunderstood millions

A segment from the television program: Nightline. Thursday, May 5, 1995. Host, Ted Koppel ; commentary, Imam Farooq Abo-Elzahab, John Esposito. Oak Forest, Ill. : MPI Home Video, c1997. 1 videocassette (23 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

Originally planned as an installment in a periodic series about different religions, this particular broadcast altered its focus in light of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. In addition to examining the tenets of the Muslim faith, it focuses on the hasty judgments made in connection to Muslims whenever a terrorist act occurs anywhere in the world. Includes interviews with Muslims living in the United States.

(Uris Video 2028)


In Farsi with English subtitles. Production Company: Arman Film. Executive Producer: Jahangir Kosari. Producer: Rakhshan Bani-Etemad. Screenplay: Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Feraidun Jeirani. Cinematography: Hossein Jafarian. Editor: Shirin Vahidi. Music: Mohammad Reza Aligholi. Principal Cast: Farimah Farjami, Atefeh Razavi, Abolfazl Poorarab, Reza Karamrezaie. Vid.: Chicago, IL : Facets Video, (Films from Iran)

Tragic tale of a love triangle. An aging thief, Afagh, is in danger of losing her rakish young lover, Adel. Adel meets Nargess and resolves to go straight after one last burglary.

Nargess comes as a surprise mainly because of its exceptionally honest look at characters who live outside strict Islamic law. A sympathetic treatment of a shabby gang of thieves, it is also a sensitive study of two completely different women. In her fourth feature, director Bani-Etemad uses the gangster genre to tell the tragic tale of a love triangle, giving this hackneyed plot a number of twists that completely turn it around. She also pushes the grim Iranian censorship code to the limit, making her outsider characters believable and moving. Abolfazl Poorarab (star of Iran's top-grossing film, The Bride) provides a convincing object of contention, but the character is just an appealing rascal, and Farimah Farjami, as an aging thief who has lost her beauty, is very touching. / Deborah Young Variety

(Olin,str1 PK6440 .N37 1998)

Nasser 56

Director: Mohamed Fadel ; Cinematographers, Abdel Latif Fahmi, Isam Fareed, Ibrahim Saleh ; editor, Kamal Aobut Al-Ela. (in Arabic only; 142 minutes ; 1996).

Film about the 1956 nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Once again popular leader Jamal Abd El-Nasser inspires mass unity in the Arab World, this time as the subject of Egypt's most celebrated new film. Since its premiere in 1996, "Nasser 56" has mesmerized Arab audiences and critics alike. Shot in black and white, this insightful docu-dram relies on a masterful use of real footage for a generous dose of nostalgia. In the performance of his career, Egyptian star Ahmad Zaki elegantly brings to life one of the world's most charismatic political figures, taking viewers behind the scenes on a dramatic, often mesmerizing tour of the Nasser Cabinet as it altered the course of Egypt's history during the "Suez Canal Crisis."

(Olin,str1 PN1997 .N37x 1996)

Noce en Galilée = `Urs al-Jalil [WEDDING IN GALILEE]

Marissa Films-Bruxelles, les Productions audiovisuelles-Paris ; scenario original, Michel Khleifi ; production et mise en scene, Michel Khleifi. -- New York, N.Y. : Kino International Corp., 1989. Originally released in 1987 as motion picture. In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles. With Makram Khouri, Bushra Qaraman, Anna Achdian, Nazih Aqleh and Juliano Meir. Executive Producers: Jacqueline Louis and Bernard Lorrain. A Marisa Films production in association with Ministry of the French-speaking community, Belgium, the Ministry of Culture, France and ZDF TV Germany.

(Olin,str1 PN1997)

This is the first Palestinian feauture film made in Palestine by a Palestinian director. It is a lyrical, passionate tale of a Palestinian wedding that takes place in an occupied village, and the contemporary tensions, contradictions and hostilities that surround it. The elder of the village, an old patriarchal Arab mayor wants to marry his son with pomp and circumstance, in accordance with tradition, but his village is under martial law, so he needs Israeli approval to break the curfew as the celebrations will take place all night. He is given this permission, on the condition that the Israeli military governor and his staff be guests of honour at the ceremony. The Mayor's family is torn apart by his acquiescence to the Israeli governor's condition, with some of the younger men planning to sabotage the party. The film takes place over two days with the tension mounting between members of the family pitted against each other in the face of the Israelis, culminating in the groom's failure to consummate his marriage, his attempt to knife his father, whom he blames for his humiliating impotence. Finally, the Israelis decide to leave and are taunted by the Palestinians who pelt them with objects in a scene which eerily foretells the Intifada which erupted only six months after the film was shot.


"As a parable, it is trying to show that we all desire peace, but that it is impossible to arrive at because of the untenable situation that now exists. This situation endangers dialogue. All systems must lose. In our life, the only winner will be the innocent people". Star Tribune, New York, Sunday May 15th 1988.

"Wedding in Galilee tries to join myth and reality in a poetic description of reality - a synthesis of image, sound, rhythms, moods, feelings and landscapes which all combine in a message of freedom. It is a sumptuous feast of poetically rendered Palestinian customs and moments in which messages flow smoothly from characters and situations'. Boston Herald Paul Sherman 1988

"Wedding in Galilee is a celebration of culture, of youth and old age, of sensuality, the strength of women, and above all of freedom. It is also a film of undeniable cinematic quality" Miriam Rosen, Black Film Review Vol 5 No 2 Spring 1989

"Wedding in Galilee is a fascinating attempt at mythological illustration and a rare example of Middle Eastern film-making from an Arab Palestinian' Festival Magazine, Toronto, Canada June 1988

"Khleifi is a master at the art of storytelling, particularly a kind of anecdote that moralises with an ironic twang... Wedding in Galilee is an example of a very rare species: a film political and beautiful, enlightening and fun to watch" Monika Bauerlain, Minnesota Daily:

"Director Michel Khleifi's extraordinary first feature is an erotic and often compelling meditation on two conflicting cultures who attempt to put aside their differences for one long day of celebration" Kino Video New York Aug 1st 1989:

"A fine film beautifully shot... wonderfully acted..." Michael Wilmington. LA. Times


Prix de la Critique Internationale, Cannes 1987

Golden Concha, San Sebastian FF. (Spain) 1987

Golden Tanit, Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage, Tunisia

Public's Prize, Chaumont (France)

Cavens Prize, Humanum Prize, Plateau Prize

Best Belgian film 1987 and Best Benelux film, Best Social Film Prize,Finalist, UCC Prize (Belgium).

(Olin,str1 PN1997)


Israeli tanks move into West Bank cities in the deadliest fighting in decades...Is the Middle East spinning out of control? James Bennet, the New York Times Bureau Chief in Jerusalem, provides a firsthand account. Then Israeli novelist David Grossman joins Bill Moyers in conversation about his latest novel and life and language in the midst of chaos. In Brazil, a husband and wife team of biologists is battling to protect the vast coral reefs that help sustain the world's food supply. NOW investigates in an excerpt from "Earth on Edge." The war in Afghanistan is fought with bombs and bullets on the ground. Here at home the war against terrorism has no frontline and it's hard to know just who the enemy is. Consider the story of Anser Mehmood. On September 11, Anser was scheduled to make a delivery to the heart of Washington, DC. The delivery was cancelled, but that did little to dispel the suspicion of the FBI. This NOW report explores the circumstances and the impact of Anser Mehmood's continued detainment in jail. Mehmood's lawyer, Martin Stolar, says: "It is racial profiling of the worst order."

On Their Own (Reham's Story)

Documentary / MediaHouse Productions

Reham is a young Muslim woman who has been educated in Western schools and now goes to the American University in Cairo. When she reached the proper age, her mother insisted that she gets circumcised. Despite her father's resistance, Reham got circumcised - in a hospital, under general anesthesia, but circumcised nonetheless.

In this film, Reham recounts the story of her circumcision and how she gained awareness about the harmfulness of the practice.

Reham now works in anti-circumcision campaigns and strives to spread awareness of the fact that the practice if female genital mutilation is harmful, unhealthy, and certainly not a religious decree.

An English subtitled version is available

The Ottoman Empire

Written by Jennie Dempster ; director, Bob Carruthers ; producers, Vanessa Tovell, Jennie Dempster ; music, Paul Farrer. Narrator, Penny Mahon ; analysis, Colin Heywood, Bill Wallace. A Film for the Humanities& Sciences ; Eagle Rock Entertainment ; [Cromwell Productions, Ltd.]. Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c1999. 1 videocassette (47 min.)

Examines the expansion of the Ottoman Empire from Eastern Europe throughout the Near East, its social and religious life and its military power.

(olin,str1 DS38.8 .O89x 1999)

The Peddler (dast-foroush)

Iran 1987. Director/writer, Mohsen Makhmalbaf ; cinematographers, Homayoon Pievar, Mehrdad Fakhimi, Ali Reza Zarrindast ; music, Majid Entezami. Cast: Zohreh Sarmadi, Esmail Sarmadian, Behzad Behzadpoor, Farid Kashan Fallah, Morteza Zarrabi.

Color, in Farsi with English subtitles. 95 min.

First story adapted from the story The newborn by Alberto Moravia.

Three short tales set among the poor of contemporary Tehran describing a kindly but naive couple who want someone to adopt their baby, a mentally unstable man who lives with his invalid mother, and the last hours of a peddler suspected of betraying his friends.

Review by Thomas E. Billings

Synopsis: A trilogy of unusual stories set in the slums of modern Tehran, that provide a bleak look at the harshness and cruelty of life. Reminiscent of the films by noted Greek Director Theo Angelopolous, this is an interesting, but also disturbing film. Some viewers will be fascinated, many others repelled by this film. The first story in the trilogy concerns an impoverished married couple; they are cousins and live in the remnants of an old bus in the slums of Tehran. She is pregnant with her fifth (fourth?) child; her previous children are all severely deformed and handicapped. The couple fears that the new child will also be handicapped. They resolve to abandon the child so it can receive better care. The story concerns the difficulties they face in this effort. The second story concerns a mentally incompetent young man who lives in a run-down apartment, where he takes care of his elderly, invalid mother. The third story shows the last few hours of the life of a peddler, who is suspected of betraying his suppliers (who are criminals). This part of the story is told from the point of view of the peddler, who has vivid fantasies of his impending death. The film is a strange mixture -- although it is primarily a gritty, bleak look at life, it also includes elements of fantasy that make it resemble a horror movie at times. The result is a real-life horror film, full of deformed people, crazy people, and brutal criminals. A comparison to the films of Theo Angelopolous is appropriate here. However, the present film is not as pretentious, nor is it as depressing as, for example, Angelopolous' Landscape in the Mist. The style though, is very similar to Angelopolous. The film can be interpreted as a sharp criticism of the state of Iranian society at present. However, the major thrust seems to be a criticism of human nature and its failings: the indecision of the parents trying to abandon their child, the way the young man mistreats his mother, and the paranoia of the peddler. Certain cautions are in order here. The film includes scenes that will offend many viewers: a sheep is killed in a butcher shop; its throat is cut & it bleeds to death; there are also scenes of apparent cruelty to a dairy cow. Because of the general negative tone of the film, I would not recommend it to a general audience. However, fans of the films of Theo Angelopolous will find it worth considering. Distribution. Part of a film series, "Iranian Film Now," coordinated by The Film Center, Chicago on behalf of the Farabi Cinema Foundation. Screened at the Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley. This film may be available on video, if you can find a source for Iranian videos. [It's been released by Facets in the US. Editor's Note] Copyright 1990 Thomas E. Billings

The Runner = Davandah

Majid Niroumand, Abbas Nazeri, Musa Torkizadeh. Videocassette release of the 1985 motion picture. Institute for the Intellectual Dev. of children and young adult ; writer & director, Amir Naderi. Videocassette release of the 1985 motion picture.

(olin PN1997 .D3828 2001)

Shows how a young boy lives by his wits on the streets of a coastal city.

Running, running, running / By Rod Webb

When he was a boy, Amir Naderi was too chubby to be the exact model for Amiro, the hero of his film The Runner, but he has a great sense of poetic licence. `This is the cinema, and I can intervene in a lot ot things. Even a director who has no experience with women can direct a great love scene. ``I wasn't a good runner, but I ran a lot in my life. I tried to find somebody to portray what is inside me, not just the external appearance. I remembered Hitchcock's words that the leading actor had to be attractive. Even his bad men are attractive.'' The boy Naderi finally selected to play Amiro is certainly attractive, but he's much more than that. With his eyes, his voice and, of course, his legs, Majid Nirumand demands attention in every scene. I first saw The Runner on the closing day of the 1985 Venice Film Festival. There weren't many people present: most had already left Venice, and others didn't hold out much hope for a film made by the Iranian Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. But it's neither a kid's film nor a propaganda tract, although it's a film for kids of all ages and contains the best kind of propaganda for life, for survival of the human spirit. Those of us privileged to see it were agreeably surprised by its decided lack of an institutional character and delighted by its use of surrealist elements to temper its more obvious links with neorealist tradition. Seeing the film and hearing Naderi's story makes one aware why he placed so much importance on the selection of the right actor. ``I started to search in the south of Iran, near the war zone. I saw about 6000 kids, ordinary kids, anybody in the seventh grade. And I saw all of them had a problem like myself. Some of them were pretty but couldn't run well, some of them could run but their faces weren't pleasant. ``Then I saw a newspaper photography of three young boys. One of them was smaller than the other two, but he was standing on tiptoes. And I saw that his size ambitions were what I was looking for. I said: He thinks like me; I have to find him. ``I got his address from the newspaper office and tracked him down in Tehran.| He was in the middle of his school studies. I persuaded his fther that for the boy to work in the movie is richer than if he goes to school. I offered to hire a teacher for him during the shooting. In my days I had good teachers like Chaplin and others, but for him I had to hire real teachers. ``~The boy was a competition runner, a good one. I asked him: `Do you know that the last 10 metres means the difference between winning and is the only thing I know'. I told him, `That is the story of my life, the story of this film'.'' Amir Naderi has always been a runner. His mother died when he was five, and he has never known his father. His homes were rusting postwar hulks on the Gulf shoreline, moving from one to the next when older people claimed ownership. His struggle to survive is described in The Runner: selling empty bottles, iced water, shoeshines. And in whatever spare time he had, he indulged his passion for the cinema. He discovered that he could see the screen of a local outdoor cinema if he stood on tiptoes atop a nearby wall. He developed strong toes. He sold nuts in the cinema, remembering every frame of each film. ``One night there was a breakage in the middle of High Sierra. I went in front of the audience and played the rest of it. And the manager said, `OK, continue to watch well and memorise the films, beacuse we're bound to have more breakdowns'. ``Sometimes the entire power supply would go, and the ushers would give me a torch and I'd shine it on my face and perform the rest of the film. They loved it when I played a romantic scene, but they threw nuts at me when I was the bad guy. They I turned the torch off to protect myself.'' His knowledge of cinema is staggering. A friend of his describes a game he plays (for money, of course) with videotapes. He spins around in front of the monitor so as to catch only a glimpse of the film playing. Once, Clark Gable walked on the screen. Naderi said, ``If he turns right it's Red Dust, if he turns left it's Mogambo.'' He pushed his way into film making at an early age, and became a cameraman on 16 mm films in 1968. His directing career began in 1970, and he made six feature films before going to the United States to make Made in Iran. He made extra money by spotting US film identities for a friend who worked for Iranian television and a film magazine. ``One day I went up to one man, saying in my bad English, `Excuse me, I know who you are. If I take you to my friend I can get $10, please'. He said, `What?' I said, `Because you are Milos Forman. Please, just talk to my friend who is a reporter. Give me yur number, and I get $10. OK?' It worked, and my friend got the interview, and I got the $10. I needed it.'' Naderi returned to Iran and made another three films before completing The Runner. Before leaving Iran for good, he made another, Water, Wind, Dust, also starring Majid Nirumand. ``It closes with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. The authorities asked me, `Why did you use this?' I told them, `Because it is the greatest symbol of freedom in the world'. And they thought this was a problem.'' The film was, however, eventually released, and was shown at last year's Sydney Film Festival. Naderi, now in the USA awaiting citizenship papers, retains hopes of producing his next film -- Amir Beethoven -- there. ``I had a feeling that The Runner was going to be the film to help me to fly. Many people like me have the hope of flying from bad times.'' Shooting The Runner was a struggle in itself. He was forced to change many locations at the last minute, when the sounds and images of the war with Iraq threatened to intrude on to the frame. In the final, climactic scene -- a desperate race across a barren landscape surrounded by oil refinery fires -- there's a very real sense that this battle between Amiro and his peers takes place in the shadow of a real, off-screen, battle. And so it was in reality: the location was devastated by bombing not long after the filming had ended. In the film, Amiro's private obsession is with objects of travel -- ships, trains, aircraft -- things which might transport him from his desperate situation, and he spends a lot of his spare time begging them to take him with them. In a metaphor for Naderi's struggle to acquire knowledge, Amiro spends his hard-earned cash on second-hand aviation magazines whose pictures he can only read. Amir Beethoven will also reflect this struggle.

Saidi fi al-Gamaa al-Amrikiya [Saidi at the American University (Cairo)= An Upper Egyptian at AUC]

DIR/PROD: Mohammed Heneidi.

The hit comedy in Egypt in the Summer 1998, Heneidi's comic satire about identity and cultural independence focuses on Saidi, who goes to Cairo's American University and tries to emulate American ways. He wears hip attire, preaches free market economics, and ends up setting an Israeli flag on fire, stamping it out, and giving a Nazi salute. The police investigate, but end up congratulating him. At the end of the film, Saidi understands that it is better to follow traditional Egyptian values.

With English Subtitles!

"Egyptian Comedy Angers Israel"


Samt al-qusur = [The silences of the palace = Les silences du palais]

A Mat Films, Cinetelefims, Magfilm coproduction. -- Bethesda, Md. : Capitol Home Video, c1996. Color, 127 minutes, subtitled, not rated. Written and directed by Moufida Tlatli ; director of photography, Youssef Ben Youssef ; produced by Ahmed Baha Eddine Attia & Richard Magnien ; music by Anouar Brahem.

Set in Tunisia in the 1950's, in the sunset years of its last monarchs, the Beys, is a sumptuous setting for this drama of memory and motherhood, of political and sexual power. Director Moufida Tlatli acutely attunes her film to the desperately undulant rhythms of decadence. Her quietly observant eye records the beauty and the horror of this stifling, now vanished world. The story is set in the shimmering reflection of royal life before any revolution. Alia, the young servant-girl played by Hend Sabri, is misused by her masters and wooed by the rebel, in this moving work of art. The Silences of the Palace is directed with loving attention to the details of women's lives and the political realities which they survive with courage, comradeship, and the resources of their bodies. For Tunisian filmmaker Moufida Tlatli, living in silence is a women's most terrifying condition, yet all to often in parts of the Arab world it has been their most common condition. Tlatli says, "The aspect that hits me the most powerfully is the silence imposed on women in the Arab-Muslim world. They grow up living in doubts as to their own existence and their own past."

(Olin DT;1997 .S365;1996)

El Sebou : Egyptian birth ritual

Written, narrated and directed by Fadwa El Guindi. Co-sponsored by the Office of Folklife Programs, Smithsonian Institution. 1 videocassette (VHS)(27 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Los Angeles, CA : El Nil Research, 1986

This film is about the birth ritual in Egypt called Sebou' (the seventh), held on the 7th day following the birth of a child of either sex, and celebrated by Coptic and Muslim families from all status groups, rural and urban. Gender-linked imagery is reflected in the ceremonial clay pot and ancient cosmological symbolism is found in the numerical value "seven." The ceremony in this film celebrates the birth of twins, a boy and a girl, in a rising middle-class family in urban Egypt. Filming and editing techniques combine the analytic and the emic approaches, allowing the participants to speak for themselves without losing the anthropological analytic perspective.

(Olin DT; )

Sema of Peace: Sacred Dance of the Whirling Dervishes: A Video Presentation

Mevlevi Order of America, Seattle, Washington. script and narration, Scott Hofmann. 1 videocassette (19 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. + 2 guides.

Sema, a word which means "listening", is a ceremony which recreates the human spiritual journey. This 20 minute video presents portions of the Sema of Peace, as performed in Seattle, Washington on December 17th, 1995, under the direction of Shaikh Jelaluddin Loras, head of the Mevlevi Order of America. Fascinating to view in itself, it also gives a glimpse of the true Beauty which lies beneath the surface of the ceremony.

(Olin BP189.7.M4 S46x 1998)


A beautifully-arranged collection of poems and narration from the world-famous Ferdousi's Shahnameh (Book of Kings), fully searchable, with stories, music and various poems; biography of Ferdousi and a history of Shahnameh itself. (In Farsi Only).

(ETC Room, Olin)

Smell of camphor, fragrance of jasmine = Buy-i kafur, °itr-i yas (Booye Kafoor, Atre Yas)

Film by Bahman Farman-Ara. 93 minutes, color, in Farsi with English subtitles

(olin PN1997 .B89 1999)

Director's View : "Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine is the product of the liberal political atmosphere of the past couple of years, and that is why I have tried my film to be a mirror reflecting what is happening to us. It is a bitter film, but not without hope. It puts death and life against each other, with life continuing all be it with bitterness. With this film I have discarded the traditional narrative conventions, and taking a cue from Nathalie Sarraute, I have allowed each event to tell its own story. I hope that after a twenty years of silence, I have not forgotten how to speak to the people of my country. I hope their reception will give me courage to move to my next film."

Bahman Farjami, a veteran filmmaker, has not made a movie for 20 years. And Since all his close director friends like Sohrab Shahid-Saless, Bahram Reypour and Ali Hatami have all died in a short period of time. He feels death must be around corner, thus he decides to make a film about his own funeral. "Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine is the product of the liberal political atmosphere of the past couple of years, and that is why I have tried my film to be a mirror reflecting what is happening to us. It is a bitter film, but not without hope. It puts death and life against each other, with life continuing all be it with bitterness. With this film I have discarded the traditional narrative conventions, and taking a cue from Nathalie Sarraute, I have allowed each event to tell its own story." (Bahman Farjami)

Spiritual dimensions

Los Angeles, CA : Islamic Information Service, 1998.

Discussion of the spiritual dimensions of Muslim life features Annemarie Schimmel, an internationally acclaimed Harvard Professor. Schimmel explores the Prophet's relation to God and its influence on the development of traditional Sufism. She also shares her love of Muslim spiritual poetry and recites from the classics. (2 Videos, 3 hrs).

(Olin,str1 BP189.65.P6 M97 1998)

Spying on Saddam

Alexandria, VA : PBS Video, c1999. Originally broadcast on April 27, 1999 as an episode of the PBS television program: Frontline.

1 videocassette (56 min.). Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired. Producer: Stephen Talbot WGBH/Frontline. Camera, Greg Larson, Bob Peterson, Vic Losiek ; editor, David Carnochan ; narrator, Will Lyman.

In the wake of Operation Desert Fox, the U.S. assault on Iraq last December, UNSCOM-the special UN commission created to find and destroy Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction-has disintegrated amid charges it was really a spy agency. Scott Ritter, former U.S. Marine and UNSCOM inspector, claims U.S. Intelligence destroyed UNSCOM's credibility when American spies penetrated and compromised the UN arms inspection teams. FRONTLINE investigates Ritter's charges and asks, who really killed UNSCOM?

(olin DS70.95 .S69x 1999)

Standard Arabic : An Advanced Course

Janet C. E. Watson, James Dickins. 2 sound cassettes : analog, 1-7/8 ips. ; 3-7/8 x 2-1/2 in., 1/8 in. tape.

This comprehensive course is designed for intermediate to advanced students of Arabic at upper undergraduate level. It uses authentic materials and a wide variety of techniques to develop the four basic language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Each of the twenty chapters is based around a particular topic relating to the culture, history, politics, geography or society of the Arab Middle East, to give students an insight into important aspects of the region.

(olin,str1 PJ6307 .D45x 1999)

T.G.M., ou, Un Été à La Goulette

Tales from Arab Detroit

Directed by Joan Mandell. Co-producers, Sally Howell, Joan Mandell ; associate producer, Andrew Shryrock. Narrator: Bushra Karaman. Los Angeles : ACCESS/Olive Branch Productions, c1995. 1 videocassette (45 min.) : sd., col., stereo. ;1/2 in. In English and Arabic with English subtitles.

Sparks fly when an Arab American community brings an Egyptian poet to perform the 1000-year-old Bani Hilal epic. In Tales from Arab Detroit, you will meet storytellers old and new: from debkeh dancers to a hip-hop artist, from a fiddle-playing bard to an Arab American rapper. Attend the celebration of a Lebanese wedding and enjoy the rhythms of Yemeni dancers in a neighborhood park. Hang with the Warren Street Boys and root for the Fordson girls' basketball team, as you witness the often contradictory ways a community weaves new traditions with the threads of old.

(Olin,str1 E184.A65 T35 1995)

*Ta'm e guilass* Taste of cherry

Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. Starring Homayon Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri

Zeitgeist Films, a Janus Films release; CIBY 200. -- Chicago, IL : Home Vision Cinema, c1997.

Mr. Badii, ceaselessly driving through the red-brown hills around Tehran in search of assistance in his suicide, receives from each of the men he asks for help a viewpoint on life. Following the film is a ten-minute interview with Abbas Kiarostami in which he discusses issues of censorhip in Iran and his views on filmmaking in general.

Abbas Kiarostami has reached a pinnacle of international success with Taste of Cherry, one of the most acclaimed films to come out of his native Iran. Though his earlier Through the Olive Trees was slated for a Miramax release, the company dropped the film, leaving Kiarostami in the dust. Only now is he becoming more recognized and known outside his country, and Taste of Cherry is a wonderful study of everyday slowness and the struggle between life, death, pain, and man, with subtle undertones of Iranian values, though the film's methods and plot are questionable. In this ambiguous film, a man wanders the Iranian city for someone who will bury him after he commits suicide. The bulk of the movie takes place in his car and on the dusty, brown roads that serve as the dull, yet beautiful scenery of the film. He meets quite a number of people- all of whom refuse to carry out his request. He offers them money, but these men, even though they are poor, hold fast to their religious Islamic beliefs and will have no part in this man's self-destruction. This man exhibits no depth of feeling; he is devoid of expressible sorrow, or fears an emotional breakdown will stimulate a renewed longing to live. Kiarostami only hints at what could be, but he never shows us what is. I think his decisions at making Taste of Cherry blurry plot-wise allude to the fact that there is nothing simple or definite in life, but, alas, I am imagining this. The beauty of this film and many films like it is that it involves the audience in the filmmaking and storytelling process. Viewers are aloud to make their own decisions and take away from the bare bones of the movie what they want to and can. Taste of Cherry is not only vague, it is tedious. It crawls turtle-slow on a path as dusty as the streets of the town depicted. Kiarostami, who serves as the producer, writer, director, and editor (an Iranian John Sayles?) of this movie, has stated in an interview that he despises films that "provoke" emotions or startle their audiences. You are engrossed in the story of the film, he says, but feel cheated afterwards. This strange approach to film (he seems to shun entertainment, or at least the majority of film entertainment) may explain why Taste of Cherry is nothing impressive or engrossing at first glance. I believe that the medium of film is for, primarily, entertainment, intelligent entertainment. I do not agree with Kiarostami that movies without obvious emotions are necessarily better than ones with outward pathos. All movies are manipulative- art incorporates the artist's stimulation of an audience's thoughts and senses, whether it be subtle or not. Films that are open-ended or do not patronize one side against another are manipulative in their way too: they provoke the viewer to think, and to be open-minded themselves. What Kiarostami is probably referring to is overt, studio-type provocation, which critics obviously do not welcome. But while trying not be stimulating, Kiarostami's film becomes unintelligible. I can appreciate his idea more than I can appreciate the outcome itself. Taste of Cherry is an intelligent, boring film, to be blunt- and that is why it is not a masterpiece. Taste of Cherry provokes no emotions and stimulates no immediate reaction. It aims for no particular response or feeling. It is as free as a cryptic song, and therein lies what is interesting and meritorious about the movie. We're interested in finding out what happens to this man, but we don't get the answer. Taste of Cherry takes a completely objective stand-point and is very removed from its characters, and in that way, it mirrors the distance people put between themselves and others, and the film's impression is not so much made by Kiarostami, but by the audience. The troubled man meets an elderly taxidermist in the final hours of his afternoon and we hear this old man's story of his own attempted suicide that resulted in his redemption by a mulberry tree. He fondly remembers his being saved from his deathly state by the little things in life- the delicious taste of mulberries, kids on their way to school, laughter, the sunset. The suicidal man is probably moved. After he gets the taxidermist to agree to come for him the next morning to bury him if he is dead, he asks the old man to make sure he is not alive before burying him. He watches the sunset and waits in a hole in the ground as a storm brews above him at night. We never discover what triggered this man's violent emotions of taking his own life and we never find out what happens after that night storm. Does he live or die? This may be irrelevant, but, then, what is relevant in this movie? Are we just supposed to observe? There is an interesting but seemingly useless shot-on-video coda that ends this film, showing footage of Kiarostami shooting Taste of Cherry. There seems to be no purpose for this scene, but perhaps it has the same intention as Bergman had for his broken projector intro and outro in Persona: as a way of re-connecting us with life. If so, the scene doesn't carry out its aim well. Perhaps it was meant to add color to an otherwise bland-brown film. Perhaps it's an Iranian thing. Taste of Cherry is, for the most part, a quiet film. Dialogue peppers many scenes, but it is quiet talk, and seems to go round and round in circles. If you want to be creative, you could say the movie is about circles- the suicidal man's car keeps going round and round and round on the dusty mountain paths of the city, and the conversation and the man's continually unsuccessful requests go in the same sense of redundancy. The sound of gravel crunching beneath tire wheels permeates the film's atmosphere, which is especially fitting when you relate it to the elderly taxidermist's speech on life's small pleasures. By using no music or score, Kiarostami highlights these small nuances, and by eliminating an emotional stimulator like music, Kiarostami is making the film both more boring and more objective. Small pleasures and details are what I believe this film is about, and while this is a very mainstream conclusion, Taste of Cherry is so unspecific and detached that several ideas and meanings can be extracted from its fabric. There is nothing conclusive about Taste of Cherry: it skims the surface of man's relationship with God, death, other people, and himself. The movie is not about a man's descent, or this man's struggle, or what this man thinks. I guess it's about what the audience thinks. Critics have debated whether Taste of Cherry discusses anything at all. The theme of "life's beauty" is as old as Chaplin and those even before him. Filmmakers have been pouncing on this message for years. The fact that this message is basically what Taste of Cherry amounts to and the fact that it is an excruciatingly boring ride to get to this much-used issue makes Taste of Cherry's credibility questionable. Granted, the "life is beautiful, great, worth living, etc." theme is very important and true, but if we want to be reminded about this, all we have to do is go to Mr. Capra. Taste of Cherry is technically captivating, if visually dull. The cinematography, especially in the last portion of the film, is arresting in its own tiresome way. The last scene before the infamous coda closure in which the suicidal man waits in a hole in the ground as night and rain fall from above him and waits to see if death will claim him still haunts me. I think Taste of Cherry is a good film but it plays around more with technique and style than with character and story. It is a film that is without most of the things film can offer nowadays (visual effects, insistent score, melodrama), but, by offering none of the normal film elements, Taste of Cherry offers something different: an experience of pacing, life tedium, and roundabouts. (By Andrew Chan)

(Olin PN;1997 .T36;1997)

Thartharah fawqa al-Nil

Feature film. Based on the novel by Najib Mahfuz. Arabic with English subtitles. Aflam Jamal al-Laythi ; sinariyu wa-hiwar, Mamdud al-Laythi ; intaj, Jamal al-Laythi ; mudir al-intaj, Muhammad Hajjaj ; ikhraj, Hasan Kamil. Mudir al-taswir, Mustafa Imam ; al-musiqa al-taswiriyah, Ali Ismail. With: Adil Adham, Ahmad Ramzi, Imad Hamdi -- Cairo : Aflam al-Laythi, [197-?]. 1 videocassette

This drama portrays the lives of a group of friends who have grown world-weary and despondent in modern Cairo.

(Uris Video 552)

A time for drunken horses = Zamani baraye masti asbha

Persian and Kurdish with English subtitles. Written, produced and directed by Bahman Ghobadi.

(olin,str1 PN1995.91.P47 T56x 2000)

Just off the Iraqi border in the cold and stark mountains of Iranian Kurdistan, a boy is forced into the smuggling trade in order to raise money to get medical treatment for his older brother.

Traditional Persian Art Music: The Radif of Mirza Abdollah

1 vol. ( xiv p., 617 p. of music : ill. ; ‚c 24 cm.) + 5 sound discs (digital ; 4 3/4 in.). Costa Mesa, Calif. : Mazda, c1999-c2000. musical notation, commentary, and performance by Dariush Tala'i ; translation of musical annotations from the Persian by Manoochehr Sadeghi. Commentary in English. Book c2000; sound discs c1999. (Biblioteca iranica. Performing arts series ; no. 3)

In the mid-nineteenth-century, Persian court musicians such as Mirza Abdollah and his brother Aqa Hoseyn Qoli, both setâr and târ players, began to teach a body of traditional music to their pupils, which was organized into suites known as dastgâhs and âvâzes. They also used these suites as a basis for their own improvisation. This set of dastgâhs and âvâzes, which was collectively referred to as radif, was passed down by oral tradition to the twentieth-century. Although other radifs were also compiled and transmitted, both orally, in writing, and recordings, the Mirza Abdollah radif has been the most influential by far. One of the reasons for its predominance is that Dr. Nurali Borumand, who taught music at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tehran University in the 1970s, had learned this radif and taught it to his students, many of whom are among the most impressive and influential performers of this musical tradition in Iran today. This volume, therefore, is a book of musical notation of the Persian classical music repertory, the radif, as handed down by the nineteenth-century master of the setâr and târ, Mirza Abdollah, to his students and children, along with a concise explanation of his music. The book's musical notation and the explanatory material are written by Dariush Tala'i. He has transcribed his entire performance into musical notation so that a person who reads music can see exactly what is being performed. Information is given in the notations about fingering on the setâr, how to pluck the instrument, and what ornamentation to use. The accompanying written materials will provide information about the radif, the modal system, and a concise description of the characteristics of each of the two major parts of the radif. About the Compact Discs This volume is accompanied by a set of 5 compact discs (CDs) with the complete radif performed by setâr virtuoso, Dariush Tala'i. The recordings were made at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1992 while Mr. Tala'i was a Visiting Professor in the School of Music.

(mus M1820 .T76 1999)

Trail of a Terrorist: The Ominous Lesson of Ahmed Rassam

Frontline coproduction with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ; WGBH Educational Foundation ; WGBH Boston. Originally broadcast October 25, 2001

Alexandria, VA : PBS Home Video, c2001. 1 videocassette (55 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences. Producers, Alex Shprintsen, Stephen Phizicky ; writer-director, Terence McKenna. Correspondent: Terence McKenna.

On December 14, 1999, the eve of the millennium, Ahmed Rassam was arrested by a U.S. border guard as he attempted to smuggle in a bomb intended for a terrorist attack. A member of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, he exploited Canada's grant of political asylum to use Montreal as a staging area. In this program, dramatic reenactments of Rassam's testimony reveal the weaknesses of lenient immigration laws and a lack of communication and cooperation between international agencies. Antiterrorist experts from France, Canada, and the U.S. discuss this dangerous gap in America's defense. (60 minutes, color)

olin,str1 HV6432 .T73 2001

Travellers [Mosaferan]

Writer, director, editor Bahram Beyzaie. Orig. 1992, 90 min. Farsi w/ English subtitles. Video: Chicago, IL : Facets Video, 1998.

Story of a wedding ceremony which turns into a funeral wake when the bride's siter and her family are killed in a traffic accident.

Considered a member of the vanguard of Iranian cinema and theater, Beizai treats the Iranian passion play (Taízieh) as a living, non-Western theatrical form- with a great capacity for depicting modern subjects. In this spare yet allusive anecdote, a young woman prepares for her marriage in Tehran. Her elder sister, who has been living out in the provinces, travels to the capital to join the wedding party. When she is killed in an auto accident, the wedding becomes a funeral, and the fate of the young couple is quite lost sight of in the general grief.

(olin,str1 PK6440 .T73 1998)

Umm Kulthum : a voice like Egypt.

Waltham, MA : Filmakers Collaborative, c1996. 67 minutes. Narrator, Omar Sharif ; Umm Kulthum voiceover by Mona Zakaria. Produced, written and directed by Michal Goldman ; director of photography, Kamal Abd al-Aziz.

Documentary about the singer Umm Kulthum, born a peasant at the turn of the century, who became a powerful symbol of the aspirations of her country. Based on the book: "The voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic song, and Egyptian society in the twentieth century" by Virginia Danielson.

(mus,av Video-;tape;300)

al-°Usfur = The Sparrow

Mahmud Qabil, Muhsinah Tawfiq, Habibah, Salah Qabil, Mahmud al-Miliji. Mudir al-intaj Safwat Mustafa ; intaj Mahmud Hannash, Abd al-Hamid Dawud ; ikhraj Yusuf Shahin. Mudir al-taswir, Mustafa al-Imam ; al-Musiqa, Ali Ismail. Hollywood, CA : Sufian, 197-? 1 videocassette : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Arabic with French subtitles.

Set shortly before and during the Six Day War in June 1967, The Sparrow follows a young police officer stationed in a small village in Upper Egypt whose inhabitants suffer from the harassment of a corrupt businessman. He crosses paths with a journalist who is investigating what appears to be a scandal involving the theft of weapons and machinery by high officials. Using the protagonist Bahiya's house as a meeting place, the police officer and the journalist come together to uncover this circle of black marketeers. During the inquiries, however, war breaks out and Nasser announces his resignation. A seminal film, The Sparrow is often cited as the first film dealing with the predominant theme of defeat in Arab Cinema. (Text from Film Society of Lincoln Center Tour)

(Uris Video 545)

Wars in peace : Iran-Iraq; Afghanistan

ITN Pro Video co-production ; produced and screenplay written by Chris Sheridan. Terry Lloyd and David Suchet, reporters -- New York : Central Park Media Corporation, 1995, c1990. 1 videocassette (80 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Central Park Media : CPM 1339. ISBN 1562193376.

Iran/Iraq: A comprehensive commentary of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988, which covers the highlights of this bitter conflict from the Iraqi blitzkrieg on seven Iranian cities to "The Fountain of Blood" where nerve agents and mustard gas were used to murder thousands.

Afghanistan: In 1978, war broke out between the Soviet backed Revolutionary Council and the oppressed Islamic majority. Soviet troops beseiged the city, with little opposition from the poorly trained, unorganized guerrilla groups. In 1985 when these guerilla groups were unified and retained, forced the Soviets to withdraw in 1989, without a decisive victory and more than 14,000 casualties.

West Beirut

Directed by Zaid Doueiri. 1989, 105 min

Beirut, April 13, 1975: First official day of the Lebanese Civil War. The passengers of a Palestinian bus are massacred by the militia in front of Tarek and Omar, two teenagers who live in West Beirut, the Muslim section of the city. The Christians control East Beirut and this geographical division symbolizes a country and people now torn apart. Since their school has closed, Tarek and Omar are determined to have fun, pretending to ignore the tragedy unfolding before their eyes. Together with May, a young Christian girl from their neighborhood who wins the two friends over with her charms, they hang out in the city and its streets, looking for adventure. They become friendly with the neighbors, shopkeepers and militia and use a Super 8 camera to film what they see, turning the battlefield into a sort of playground. Omar and Tarek live through this first year of the war unconcerned, engrossed in their first love affair. But as they are gradually drawn into the escalating violence that surrounds them, their carefree adolescence comes to an abrupt and startling end. "The most impressive feature film debut of the year" New York Press

(Olin PJ8089.W47 .E5 2001)

When the world spoke Arabic = Lorsque le monde parlait arabe

Les Arabes entrent en scène = The Arabs make their entrance

film conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une coproduction FIT Production ... [et al.] -- Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (26 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsque le monde parlait arabe = when the world spoke Arabic). Series: When the world spoke Arabic. Interviewee, Maxime Rodinson. Image, Lionel Jan Kerquistel ; music, Bernhard Eisner

"As the shadow of the Dark Ages fell across Europe, the scene for the advancement of Western civilization shifted to the Near East. This program charts the rise of the Arab empire from its roots in the long-standing rivalry between the Byzantines and the Sassanids. Nodes along that timeline include the dual role of Mecca as a place of worship and as a center for trade, the life of Muhammad and the birth of Islam, the rapid expansion of Arabia at the expense of Byzantium and the Sassanid kingdom, and the internecine struggle between Arab factions that led to the founding of the Umayyad dynasty"--Publisher's website.

Once upon a time Baghdad = Il était une fois Bagdad

[Added title: Empire rises from the sands] Un film conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (27 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (When the world spoke Arabic = Lorsque le monde parlait arabe) Series: Lorsque le monde parlait arabe. Films for the Humanities & Sciences : 11412-A-NT. Films for the Humanities & Sciences : BVL11412. ISBN 0736532463 (Films for the Humanities & Sciences web site). Narrated by Paul Barrett. Narration in English. Interviews in various languages with English subtitles.

"The victory of the Abbasids over the Umayyads signified much more than the replacement of one dynasty with another. With it, Islam saw the birth if a multiethnic concept of power, in which both Arab and non-Arab Muslims could share authority. This program presents the Abbasid Caliphate at its peak, enthroned in its prestigious capital city: Baghdad. The defining project of Caliph al-Ma'amun, the translation by an army of clerks of all the ancient writings his emissaries could procure is spotlighted--an achievement that set the stage for an eventual showdown between religious and secular scholars"--Films for the Humanities & Sciences web site.

The Andalusian epic

[Subtitle from container: Islamic Spain. Added title: Encountering others : the Andalousian [sic] epic]. Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (27 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (When the world spoke Arabic = Lorsque le monde parlait arabe) Series: Lorsque le monde parlait arabe. ISBN 0736532471 (Films for the Humanities & Sciences web site). Narrated by Paul Barrett. Narration in English. Interviews in Spanish and French with English subtitles.

"This program addresses the expansion of the Arab empire into Spain, where Muslims ruled with tolerance for more than seven centuries. The introduction and consolidation of Islamic power in Spain, the creation of the Umayyad emirate by the sole survivor of the Umayyad dynasty, the rise of Cordoba as a cultural rival of Abbasid Baghdad, and the gradual ebb of Arab rule on the Iberian Peninsula are all discussed. Special attention is given to the prosperous reign of Abdel Rahman III and the flowering of a Muslim culture that respectfully welcomed the contributions of Christians and Jews alike"--Container.

They surveyed the world = Les arpenteurs du monde

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (26 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (When the world spoke Arabic = Lorsque le monde parlait arabe) Series: Lorsque le monde parlait arabe. ISBN 073653248X (Films for the Humanities & Sciences web site). Narrated by Paul Barrett. Narration in English. Interviews in various languages with English subtitles.

"During the 10th century, people routinely journeyed from one end of the huge Arab empire to the other--and even into non-Islamic lands far into the north and east. Who were these travelers, what did they seek? This program captures what it was like to be a pilgrim in a caravan bound for Mecca, an official carrying out the Caliph's orders, a scholar seeking knowledge, a merchant in search of new markets, and an explorer charting the seas. Some of the era's most memorable personalities--mathematician al-Khuwarizmi, the chronicler Abul Hasan Ali al Mas'udi, the cartographer al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Hawqal--are profiled"--Films for the Humanities & Sciences web site.

The Muslim town [Public and private life. 1,] = Le public et le prive. 1, La ville musulmane

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (26 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsquele monde parlait arabe = When the world spoke Arabic) Series: When the world spoke Arabic ISBN 0736532498. Commentary: Antonio Almagro Gorbea, Osmane Aidi, Abdel Halim Ibrahim. In English, French, Spanish and Arabic with English subtitles.

Although the first towns the Arabs founded during the expansion of Arabia were only vast campsites, it was not long before their temporary dwellings gave way to the magnificent signature architecture of Arabian culture. What was it like to live in the Arab cities of the Abbasid dynasty, grand oases of refinement and innovation? This program describes key centers of the Muslim town, including the mosque and the souk, and the roles of the prince, the doctors of the law, and the leaders of the various social groups in keeping order within the community.

An art of living [Public and private life. 2,] = Le public et le prive. 2, Un art de vivre

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (27 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsquele monde parlait arabe = When the world spoke Arabic) Series: When the world spoke Arabic Films for the Humanities & Sciences : 11416-A-NT. ISBN 0736532501. Commentary: Saad Allah Agha Kalaa, Rodrigo de Zayas, Rachel Arie, Jose Monleon, Mohammed Bennis.

As life among the aristocracy in Damascus and Baghdad attained its zenith of refinement, another important cultural center was developing in Islamic Cordoba. This program focuses on the remarkable cultural contributions of Ziryab, a talented young musician who fled the East for Andalusia and became the era's preeminent arbiter of style and taste. After creating a popular new form of music, he went on to radically reshape Arab high society, inventing new fashions and hairstyles, introducing fine dining, and creating a thriving market for all manner of luxury goods.

The secrets of the human body [Embracing all knowledge. 1, ] = Embrasser tous les savoirs. 1. Les secrets du corps humain

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton,N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (27 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsquele monde parlait arabe = When the world spoke Arabic) Series: When the world spoke Arabic Films for the Humanities & Sciences : BVL11417. ISBN 073653251X. Commentary: Camilo Alvarez De Moralez, Daniele Jacquart, Mahmud Hretani, Bourhan Abed.

This program investigates the practice of medicine during the Abbasid Caliphate, offering profiles of Al-Ma'amun's House of Wisdom, Dioscorides, Rhazes, whose Kitab al-hawi outlines an exemplary clinical approach, Avicenna, universally known for his Canon of Medicine, and Abul Qasim al-Zahrawi, the father of modern surgery. The Islamic concern with the relationship between the body and the soul is also discussed, as is the founding of hospitals, one of the great achievements of Islamic society.

Everything under the sun [Embracing all knowledge. 2, ] = Embrasser tous les savoirs. 2, Le ciel à livres ouverts

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (26 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (When the world spoke Arabic = Lorsque le monde parlait arabe) Series: Lorsque le monde parlait arabe. Films for the Humanities & Sciences : 11418-A-NT. Films for the Humanities & Sciences : BVL11418. ISBN 0736532528 (Films for the Humanities & Sciences web site). Narration in English. Interviews in various languages with English subtitles.

"Picking up mathematics and astronomy from where the ancient Greeks left off, Arab scholars paved the way for the Copernican revolution and the rebirth of science in Europe. This program reveals the Empire of the Caliphate's role in developing the Indo-Arabic decimal system, algebra, and algorithms and in refining the science of optics and the Ptolemaic model of the solar system. The application of astronomy to sacred ends, such as accurately fixing the time for prayers, the direction of Mecca, and the start of Ramadan, is also considered"--Films for the Humanities & Sciences web site.

Believe, imagine, dream. 1, The thousand and one nights = Croire, imaginer, penser. 1, Les mille et une nuits

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (27 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsquele monde parlait arabe = When the world spoke Arabic) Series: When the world spoke Arabic Films for the Humanities & Sciences : BVL11419. ISBN 0736532536. Commentary: Abdelfattah Kilito, Tayeb Saddiki, Joe Monleon.

Encompassing fairy tales, romances, legends, fables, parables, and anecdotes, "The thousand and one nights" is a composite of popular oral stories that developed over several centuries, mainly during the Empire of the Caliphate. This program scrutinizes the wonderfully audacious tale of Scheherezade and what it tells the attentive reader about the dreams of Arab men and women during the empire's golden age. Recurring themes such as hunger for adventure and a desire to be free from tradition are explored, as well as a conception of power that glorifies self-control and disparages violence.

Believe, imagine, dream. 2, Ulema and philosophers = Croire, imaginer, penser. 2, Les ulemas et les philosophes

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (26 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsque le monde parlait arabe = When the world spoke Arabic) Series: When the world spoke Arabic ISBN 0736532544. Commentary: Luis Molina, Alain de Libera, Tony Levy.

By replacing paganism with monotheism and tribal life with empire-building, the Arabs of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties effected a complete paradigm shift in their worldview. This program studies the codification of Islamic law and assimilation of non-Arab texts--and the ensuing competition between the ulema, or doctors of the law, and the philosophers, who saw reason as an equal to divine enlightenment. The contributions of key figures, including the Caliph al-Maamun, Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, Abu al-Nasr al-Farabi, Avicenna, Muhammad ibn Tufayl, and Averroes, are also examined.

Europe awakes. 1, From Arabic to Latin = L'eveil de l'Europe. 1, De l' arabe au latin

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (26 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsque le monde parlait arabe = When the world spoke Arabic) Series: When the world spoke Arabic Films for the Humanities & Sciences : BVL11421. ISBN 0736532552. Commentary: Tony Levy, Danielle Jacquart, Jean Jolivet, Henri Bresc.

As dissension mounted between the rival Arab dynasties in Baghdad, Cordoba, and Cairo, Christendom rallied to oppose the Muslims in Spain and Jerusalem. This program plots out the decline of the Caliphate and the acquisition of Arab knowledge by Europeans starved for Islam's intellectual riches. The rise of feudalism and papal authority, the gradual defeat of the Muslim rulers in Spain, the Seljuk ursurpation of Abbisid power in the Near East, and the Crudades are explained, along with the concerted efforts of Catholic authorities to translate the vast libraries of Arab scientific and philosophical texts.

Europe awakes. 2, Forgetting Arabic = L'eveil de l'Europe. 2, Oublier l'arabe

Conçu et écrit par Mahmoud Hussein ; réalisé par Philippe Calderon ; une co-production FIT Production, La Cinquième, Canal Sur Television. -- Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001. 1 videocassette (27 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. -- (Lorsque le monde parlait arabe = When the world spoke Arabic) Series: When the world spoke Arabic Films for the Humanities & Sciences : BVL11422. ISBN 0736532560. Commentary: Alain de Libera, Radwa Ashour, Rodrigo de Zayas.

Why was Islamic philosophy, once the epitome of learning, eventually rejected by Muslims? And why, after assimilating it, did Europeans distance themselves from its formulators? This program seeks to understand the religious climate of the late Middle Ages, in which universities and madrassas became centers of power and models for evolving sociopolitical systems. The potentially heretical nature of philosophy is also analyzed--in Islamic lands the djinni of intellectuality was put back in the bottle, but in Christendom it escaped the control of those who used it, paving the way for Renaissance humanism.

White Balloon / Abbas Kiarostami


Feature film. Editor, Sh. Vahidi ; music, A. Pejmanphotography, H. Payevar ; producer, B. Gharibpoor ; writer/director, Ebrahim Mokhtari. A. Razavi, M. Fat-hi, N. Kheradmand, Sh. Alizadeh. In Farsi with English subtitles. Chicago, IL : Facets Video, 1998. (Films from Iran). 1 videocassette (88 min.) Originally released as a motion picture in 1994 in Iran.

Sex discrimination against women (Feature film-Drama)

As her wedding day approaches, Zinat, a young woman employed in a rural health clinic, is pressured by her future in-laws to give up her job in order to devote her full attention to her husband and new household. But, her departure would create problems for the clinic and the large population it serves. For his first feature debut Ebrahim Mokhtari, one of Iran's leading documentarists, has fashioned a complex, deeply felt tale that succinctly captures the conflict between centuries-old traditions and contemporary social needs and realities. Zinat was Iran's submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar this year.

(olin,str1 HQ1735.2 .Z56 1998)

Zendegi va digar hich = Life and nothing more

producer, A.R. Zarin ; writter & director, A Kiarostami. -- Chicago, IL : Facets Video, c1999. (Films from Iran)

(Olin,lim PN;1997 Z46;1999)

Audio Books

Abnudi, 'Abd al-Rahman. Ahmad Sima'in [sound recording] / 'Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi. al-Muhandisin [Giza] : Atlas lil-Nashr wa-al- Intaj al-I'lami, [2001] $6.75 (U.S.). 2 sound cassettes (ca. 120 min.) : digital + 1 book (263 p. ; 19 cm.) Poems.

Abnudi, 'Abd al-Rahman. Yamnah wa-qasa'id ukhra [sound recording] / 'Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi. al-Muhandisin [Giza] : Atlas lil-Nashr wa-al-Intaj al-I'lami, [2001] $6.75 (U.S.). 2 sound cassettes (ca. 120 min.) : digital + 1 book (367 p. ; 20 cm.) Mukhtarat ; 1-2 Poems.

Abnudi, 'Abd al-Rahman. Ba'd al-tahiyah wa-al-salam [sound recording] / 'Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi. al-Muhandisin [Giza] : Atlas lil-Nashr wa-al-Intaj al-I'lami, [2001] $6.75 (U.S.). 2 sound cassettes (ca. 120 min.) : digital + 1 book (251 p. ; 19 cm.) Poems.

Abnudi, 'Abd al-Rahman. Jawabat Haraji al-Qitt [sound recording] / 'Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi. al-Muhandisin [Giza] : Atlas lil-Nashr wa-al-Intaj al-I'lami, [2001] $6.75 (U.S.). 2 sound cassettes (ca. 120 min.) : digital + 1 book (243 p. ; 20 cm.) Poems.

Abnudi, 'Abd al-Rahman. Wujuh 'ala al-shatt [sound recording] / 'Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi. al-Muhandisin [Giza] : Atlas lil-Nashr wa-al-Intaj al-I'lami, [2001] $6.75 (U.S.). 3 sound cassettes (ca. 180 min.) : digital + 1 book (407 p. ; 20 cm.) Poems.

Abnudi, 'Abd al-Rahman. al-Mawt 'ala al-asfalt [sound recording] / 'Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi. al-Muhandisin [Giza] : Atlas lil-Nashr wa-al-Intaj al-I'lami, [2001] $6.75 (U.S.). 1 sound cassette (ca. 60 min.) : digital + 1 book (94 p. ; 20 cm.) Poems.

The Arabian Nights : The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night [ABRIDGED] by Richard, Sir Burton, Philip Madoc (Reader), Richard Francis Burton. Audio Cassette - 42 pages Abridged edition (February 1995) Naxos Audio Books; ISBN: 9626345292 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.37 x 5.46 x 4.21.

The romantic strains of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade introduce and end each segment of this lush, nineteenth-century translation. The exotic music is seamlessly married to Burton's erotic adventures and Madoc's mellifluous voice. Though Madoc's theatrical training is obvious, his renderings are never stagy. He reads with dash and elan but doesn't turn this into a performance by adopting accents. Madoc allows the literature to speak for itself, occasionally underscoring a passage with the seduction of sibilant speech or the slight swell of anger. Please note that Burton's tales, filled with violence and sexuality, are meant for adult ears. R.O.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineBook Description Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Shahrazad, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Shahrazad always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever. This volume reproduces the 1932 Modern Library edition.

Hayat al-Rasul / Hayat Muhammad [2 tapes](olin BP75 .H35 1999)

Hayy ibn Yaqzan [2 tapes] (olin,str1 B753.I5 R53 1999)

Mukhtarat Min Shir Abi al-Tayyib al-Mutanabi [2 tapes] (olin PJ7750.M8 A17 1999)

Mustatraf fi Kulli Fann Mustazraf [2 tapes] (olin PN6095.A7 I28 1999)

Shir Talal Haydar [2 tapes] (olin PJ7832 .A833 1999)

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Middle East & Islamic Studies http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast

Ali Houissa, The Middle East & Islamic Studies Bibliographer