Fall 2018 Film Series - Contested Spaces

Location: Manuel Pacheco Integrated Learning Center (ILC), Room 130 (1500 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721)

Free and open to the public
All films have subtitled or spoken English



The Settlers (9/5)

Clash (10/3)

Turkey On The Edge (11/7)

The War Show (12/5)



September 5

The Settlers

Click here to watch the trailer 

From the Los Angeles Times-

As the devastating documentary "The Settlers" demonstrates, ask a simple question and you end up with a complex, confounding series of answers.

Veteran Israeli director Shimon Dotan poses the same basic query — "Are you a settler?" — to residents of the West Bank, and the range of responses is telling.

One person flat out refuses to answer. Another says, "I am in the land of my forefathers." A third prefers the less judgmental word "inhabitant," and a fourth sneers, "That's how the media and leftists define me." Only one man, his eyes ablaze with the joys of zealotry, says, "I am a settler, yes, I love this land, and I hope to be buried in it.”

...Smart, thorough and thoughtful, this disturbing film unfolds like a slow-motion nightmare that has taken half a century to fully reveal itself, a trenchant examination that deserves to stand next to compelling Israeli documentaries on similar themes, including "The Law in These Parts" and "The Gatekeepers."

Though it's far from the only film to deal with the phenomenon, "Settlers" stands out in terms of the substantial access it obtained to several generations of the movement's leaders, allowing them to lay out religious/philosophical underpinnings in considerable detail. A few dissenting voices are heard, but mostly these people have the floor.


Shimon Dotan

Country of Origin 
Israel, France, Germany, Canada

Hebrew, Arabic, English (English Subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2016/ 107 min

Nathan Spinder


October 3


Click here to watch the trailer 

From The Irish Times- 

Claustrophobics are advised to steer clear of this deliciously high-concept drama, set entirely in the back of paddywagon. An introductory scroll reminds us of the context for this nail-biting political thriller. The year is 2013, just after the Egyptian military toppled the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi. Army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has seized power. Violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the then-elected Muslim Brotherhood government, are erupting all over Cairo.

The police respond with chaotic bluster, by throwing two journalists – Adam (Hany Adel) and his photographer Zein (Mohamed El Sebaey) – into the van. The detainees are soon joined by demonstrators celebrating Morsi’s ousting, and later, by pro-Brotherhood activists.

 Tensions (understandably) rise in the 8m-squared space, often between those who are nominally on the same side....


Mohamed Diab

Country of Origin 
Egypt, France

Arabic (English Subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2016/ 97 min

Mohammed Sammak


November 7

Turkey On The Edge

Click here to watch the trailer 

From WatchDocs-

The defense of Istanbul's Gezi Park in 2013 was the apex of social and political mobilization: at the time, there were hundreds of thousands of people taking part in demonstrations, civic platforms were being formed, and grassroots practices of resistance seemed to be consolidating. The pacification of protests was just the start, however, of an offensive by the ruling AKP party: for several years, repressions against non-governmental organizations and independent media have been increasing, and Turkey has been climbing the ranks of the world’s human rights violators. In his latest film, Imre Azem (his “Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits” was shown during the 13th edition of WATCH DOCS) accompanies his Istanbul activist friends during a series of actions aimed at putting an end to the erosion of democracy: he joins them at protests against the politically motivated firing of university lecturers, travels to the Kurdish city of Diyarbakır, and follows a campaign against amendments to the constitution. The result is a direct and engaged collective portrait of Turks who are not indifferent to what is happening in their country.

-Justyna Chmielewska


Imre Azem

Country of Origin 

Turkish, German, English (English subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2017/ 52 min

John Perugini


December 5

The War Show

Click here to watch the trailer 

From ScreenDaily-

Since the Arab Spring spread across the Middle East, footage of mass uprisings violent reprisals hasn’t been far from our screens. These scenes are peppered throughout The War Show; however they’re not narrator and co-director Obaidah Zytoon’s primary focus. Working with Andreas Dalsgaard, the broadcast journalist turned first-time filmmaker tells the raw tales that lurk behind the visible signs of protest: the dreams chased and dashed, the everyday lives oppressed and transformed, the bodies battered and beaten, and the other individual prices paid....

A project initially which began with a group of friends as an attempt to document what was going on around them, it’s the juxtaposition of thriving street crowds chanting their dissatisfaction with the ruling regime — and bearing the physical, emotional and sometimes fatal consequences — with ordinary moments and conversations that ensures Zytoon’s journeying effort doesn’t just hit home, but does so with devastating force.

One by one, Zytoon introduces the fellow mobilised artists and activists she calls her chosen family, as well an adopted dog she shampoos lovingly; one by one, their stories move from impassioned exuberance to sombre realisation or worse, and from striving to effect change to wearing the steep costs of those efforts.


Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard

Country of Origin 
Denmark, Germany, Finland

Arabic (English subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2016/ 100 min

Feras Klenk



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