Melbourne IFF Arabic films: based on real events ‘unfortunately’



Sat, 12 Aug 2017 - 11:23 GMT


Sat, 12 Aug 2017 - 11:23 GMT

ALI'S WEDDING - photo courtesy of MIFF website

ALI'S WEDDING - photo courtesy of MIFF website

CAIRO – 12 August 2017: About nine Arabic main language movies are participating in the Melbourne

International Film Festival

MIFF 2017, which kicked off on 3 August and will last till 20 August. The films are mostly based on real stories of immigrants, wars and disputes, most of them social one or political.

Out of the Middle East region wars, disputes and revolutions, outstanding movies were inspired to come to life during the years 2016 and 2017.

And here is a list of them:

ALI'S WEDDING (a true story...Unfortunately)

1.The filmmaker chose to write under the title of this film that its events are “unfortunately” based on true story , a word that's make sense if he wrote it in mind with the rest of the festival’s war based movies, which are unfortunately still happening.

The movie however is based on the story of the lead actor, Osamah Sami, son of an Iranian Muslim clerk finds himself in a hard situation, surrounded with the consequences of several well-intentioned lies he chose to tell his family in an attempt “to make them proud”.

The Iraqi immigrant figures by the end that he have to make some serious decisions to get what he really wants in life, especially with the coming of a family arranged marriage.

The Australian movie produced in 2016 and directed by Jeffrey Walker, written by Andrew Knight, Osamah Sami and starting with Osamah Sami, Don Hany, Helana Sawires and Robert Rabiah.


THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT- photo courtesy of MIFF website

Starring Swedish-Lebanese actor Fares Fares and directed by Tarik Saleh, the 109 minute movie shows an investigative journey behind the mystery of the death of a singer killed inside the Nile Hilton hotel during the 25 January revolution.

The situation becomes more complicated when some of the Egyptian political elites interfere in an attempt to block the investigation paths. The Nile Hilton Incident Arabic main language movie’s events take place in Cairo, Egypt 2011.

The main language used in the movie is Arabic. Other languages used include: Dinka, English and French.

BEAUTY AND THE DOGS (La Belle et la meute)

BEAUTY AND THE DOGS - photo courtesy of MIFF website

The movie is a French, Swedish and Tunisian co-production based on a true story of a girl called Mariam performed by Mariam Al Ferjani, who gets abused by corrupted police men after seeing her with a friend Youssef getting out of a party affiliated with her university.

The writer and Director of this fil, Kaouther Ben Hania takes you within a journey exploring feminine case and questioning about a girl’s dignity within the eastern society’s rules and regulations.

The Challenge (Documentary)

The Challenge (Documentary) - photo courtesy of MIFF website

A 70-minute French & Italian Arabic movie directed by Yuri Ancarani and produced by Fabrazio Polpettini.

The film covers a group of obscenely wealthy Qatari men as they journey to the Arabian Peninsula, taking with them Falcons and pet Cheetahs.

This documentary was released in 2016 and won the Special Jury Prize at Locarno Film Festival.



CITY OF GHOSTS (Documentary) - photo courtesy of MIFF website

A remarkable 92-minute documentary movie that highlights the ugliness Syria's bloody war between civilians, journalists and IS, City of Ghosts shows how journalism can be really dangerous, especially if it is taken to the so-called caliphate center, Raqqa city, where a group of journalists decide to take videos and photos to the barbaric acts of ISIS inside the city. The film is directed by Matthew Heineman.

In this documentary Arabic and English languages are both used. It contains real footage for ISIS practices against Syrians. It represents a serious step towards showing the importance of the citizen journalist’s role.

A Drowning Man

A Drowning Man- photo courtesy of MIFF website

Regardless of what is happening in your home, it remains home, as anywhere else is a strange place especially for a refugee. A Drowning Man is a short movie reflects what refugees face away from their countries and what they have to face daily to make it through.

The 15-minute movie uses both Arabic and Greek languages, and is directed and written by Mahdi Fleifel. It stars Atef Alshafei playing the role of a Palestinian refugee living in Greece.


Insyriated ¬- photo courtesy of MIFF website

“Here’s my home and no one will force me out of it” a statement appears in the movie trailer, said by Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass who plays the role of Oum Yazan.

Her statement summarizes the theme of the film,which tells the story of a Syrian woman determined not to leave her house in the Syrian capital, Damascus, choosing to remain amid the war rather than leave the house.

Insyriated, is an 82-minute Arabic language movie directed and written by Philippe Van Leeuw.


UNTIL THE BIRDS RETURN- photo courtesy of MIFF website

Karim Moussaoui tries in this film to represent a side of his country’s youth emotional struggles within their daily life and the affect of war on them.

With a drama-romance theme and running at 113 minutes, 'Until the Birds Return' tells a story of what modern Algeria had been going through in the civil war that lasted from December 1991 until 8 February 2002. The Arabic and French language movie starting with Hania Amar and Aure Atika is a French, German and Algerian co-production.


WAITING FOR GIRAFFES- photo courtesy of MIFF website

9. Despite all the sufferings and struggles in Palestine, the one remaining Zoo in Qalqilya city is doing all it can to bring Giraffes back after the death of the last remaining male, Brownie.

During the 84-minute movie, the Zoo manager tries to convince the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) that his park is a convenient environment to the tallest animals.

Arabic is the main language of the movie, among other languages including English and Hebrew. The film is directed and written by Italian Marco De Stefanis, and is a Belgian-Dutch production.



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