Cultures of Resistance

Film screenings and talks

Omar Kholeif

This two-day program of screenings and talks surveys new cinema that has emerged out of a moment of civil unrest in Egypt. Whether inspired directly, or indirectly – the moving images evoke the anguish that gives rise to dissidence. The films herein are simultaneously allegorical and poetic, tender, visceral, and at times, even violent. With this we seek to address visual representations by filmmakers of the present and consider the role that cinema can play in a society, as it continues to re-structure itself.

This event forms part of the cultural program for the workshop, 'Egyptian Women Artists and Writers: Cultures of Resistance', part of a wider research project funded by the CBRL-BRISMES Research Network (UK), led by Dr. Dalia Mostafa and Anastasia Valassopoulos, University of Manchester and Dr. Shuruq Naguib, University of Lancaster in partnership with the English Department, Faculty of Arts at Ain Shams University, Cairo.

The event is supported through British Academy International Partnerships Scheme, is produced in partnership with the UK's Arab Film Festival and curated by Omar Kholeif.

Saturday 30 March 2013
Sandra Schäfer, on the set of 1978ff, 2011, 58 min.

English, Farsi and German with Arabic subtitles

19:00 Q&A with Sandra Schäfer and Maxa Zoller, in English
20:00 Hanan Abdalla, In the Shadow of a Man, 2012, 65 min.

Arabic with English subtitles

21:00 Q&A with Hanan Abdalla and Mark Westmoreland, in English

Sunday 31 March 2013
17:00 What Can Cinema Do? an
illustrated conversation between curator and writer Omar Kholeif and film historian, curator and filmmaker Viola Shafik. Kholeif and Shafik will discuss the current state of Egyptian cinema, both the popular and the independent scene, drawing correlations between its past, its present and its future. In English and Arabic.
20:00 Amal Ramsis, Forbidden, 2011, 67 min., Arabic with English subtitles
21:00 Q&A with Amal Ramsis and Dalia Mostafa, in Arabic

Film synopses

Sandra Schäfer, "on the set of 1978ff", 2011, 58 min.

This film explores the Iranian Revolution not as a purely national event, but through the larger framework of its international ramifications and effects. In her quest to understand the circumstances of the revolution from an outsider perspective the German filmmaker comes across key figures such as the photographer Hengameh Golestan who documented the revolution off-center, and Ali Shariati, the Islamist Marxist, who has recently been rediscovered by a younger generation of artists, theorists and researchers.

Hanan Abdalla, In the Shadow of a Man, 2012, 65 min.

In the wake of the Egyptian revolution, four women speak of their fight for the future and what it means to be a woman in Egypt. "In the Shadow of a Man" weaves through their worlds as they tell us their stories of marriage, divorce, love and resistance, mirroring their lives with Egypt's greater struggle for freedom and self-determination.

Amal Ramsis, Forbidden, 2011, 67 min.

This film, shot shortly before the unrest erupted, depicts in an amusing style the background to Egyptians' desire for freedom. Interviewees, including activists and filmmakers, describe everyday confrontations with bans and regulations, from checks on behavior in public spaces to police arbitrariness and political pressure. This documentary captures small attempts to extend personal freedoms, as well as an overview of the wave of demonstrations and strikes that preceded the revolution.