A friendship between a young Jew and an elderly Muslim is at the core of this warm-hearted demonstration of Omar Sharif’s character-acting ability. In a working-class section of Paris in the 60s, and set to a unifying soundtrack of the times, they form an unlikely alliance cross-generational, cross-cultural alliance. The film screened at both Toronto and Venice Film Festivals. Sharif is, simply, superb.
Yachine is 10 years old, he lives with his family in the slum of Sidi Moumen in Casablanca. His mother, Yemma, leads the family as best as she can. His father suffers from depression, one of his brothers is in the army, another is almost autistic and the third, Hamid, 13, is the boss of the local neighbourhood and Yachine’s protector.
After escaping years of incarceration, a nameless man tries to find his way home in a Cairo turned upside down by the protests of the Egyptian Revolution of January 25, 2011. As he revisits the family and country he has been separated from for so long, he finds that everything about life as he knew it has been irrevocably changed.
They Are the Dogs follows members of a television crew as they stumble across the story of an old man – Majhoul. His tragic tale dates back to 1981 during upheavals in Morocco, where he was arrested. Released 30 years later in 2011, he is now trying to come to terms with a new reality. The TV crew decides to report his journey as he sets off on a quest to find his family and his place in this new world.
Twenty six year-old law student Farid has to go to Algeria to try and save his father’s house from demolition. He discovers a country he has never set foot in before and is gradually won over by a gallery of extraordinary characters whose humor and straightforwardness go straight to his heart; among them his cousin, a quick-witted wheeler-dealer who dreams of making it to France.
David Lean’s masterpiece, perhaps the greatest of screen epics, stars Peter O’Toole in one of the most electrifying debuts in film history. The film is less an ordinary adventure than an experience that leaves an overwhelming sense memory of the struggle between two powerful forces: the Arabian deserts, immense, intractable, ever-shifting, punishing; and T.E. Lawrence, humble as a monk, flamboyant as a rock star, protean, polymathic, heroic, enigmatic, mad.
Set against the backdrop of the Libyan Desert in 1929, this historical action film stars Anthony Quinn as tribal leader Omar Mukhtar, who becomes a key hero in the Libyan resistance to Italian Fascist invasion under the command of General Rodolfo Graziana (Oliver Reed). Despite its casting, Lion of the Desert is not a Hollywood film; directed by Moustapha Akkad, funded by Muammar Gaddafi and banned in Italy on its release in 1981, it is a Libyan story.
Omar, a young baker, is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets to visit his secret love, Nadia. But occupied Palestine knows neither love nor clear-cut war. Omar is suddenly transformed into a freedom fighter. Suspicion and betrayal jeopardise his long-term friendship with Amjad and Tarek and Omar’s feelings are soon as torn as the Palestinian landscape. However, it’s evident that everything he does is for his love of Nadia.
All the action of this breathtakingly audacious examination of contemporary Cairo is centred on the residents of a downtown Cairo apartment block. Tracking the lives of a seemingly disparate group of individuals as they hurtle towards each other with fateful consequences the film tackles everything from Islamic fundamentalism to homosexuality and corruption. It was a cause célčbre on its release in Egypt, where it proceeded to smash box office records and spark unprecedented debate.
Thanks to Galway Film Fleadh, the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Access Cinema Dublin , Niamh Nolan from Hell’s Kitchen, Catherine Punch and Catherine Mareska (PA for Omar Sharif), Gareth Hargadon (Embassy of Ireland in Abu Dhabi), Miriam Allen from Galway film festival, Aine Moriarty (IFTN), The team of The Website Shop and the team of Pubfiction