Spring 2017 Film Series - Young Lives: Against the Odds

1ST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH
7PM
Location: Manuel Pacheco Integrated Learning Center (ILC), Room 150, 1500 E. University Blvd

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

Click here for a map 

Films
Mourning (Soog) (2/1)
Yemeniettes (3/1)
Before Your Eyes (Min Dît: The Children of Diyarbakır)
(4/5)
Theeb (5/3)

 

February 1

Mourning (Soog)

Click here to watch the trailer 

From the Global Film Initiative synopsis-

From a black screen, a man and a woman are heard arguing and hurrying away from a house. Afterward, the screen radiates brilliant green countryside, traversed by a small black car. Subtitles relay a conversation by another man and woman, but now we hear no voices. Kamran and Sharareh, a deaf couple, are driving Sharareh’s young nephew, Arshia, back home to Tehran. Something terrible has happened. But the couple keep the news from Arshia, debating his future in a language not as private as they believe, and turning a car trip into a subtly humorous and deeply compassionate meditation on communication and emotional disability.

Director 
Morteza Farshbaf 

Country of Origin 
Iran

Language 
Persian (English Subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2011/ 85 min

Presenter 
Zachary Thomas

 

March 1

Yemeniettes

Click here to watch the trailer 

From the Layalina Productions synopsis-

In a country without hope, what if three girls could inspire an entire nation to dream again?

It’s homework time, but the lights are out yet again in Yemen’s capital of Sana’a. Three girls, determined to get an education, decide enough is enough. Armed with an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of creativity, they find a solution to their study woes and address their country’s weak economy and fledgling infrastructure in the process. Their idea? Solar powered lanterns. Set against the backdrop of a nation whose reputation includes being one of the worst places to be a woman, the poorest country in the Arab world, and a failed state, the film explores many of thedrivers of Yemen’s challenges: youth unemployment, drug abuse, and a struggling education system. Even worse, conflict between Al-Qaeda and Yemen’s Houthi population threatens the girls’ very lives. In Yemeniettes (in Arabic, يمنيات), teenage girls launch a business — taking on titles like CEO and Vice President — and defy the barriers of their traditional society, proving that age and gender constraints are no match for those seeking to make the world around them a better place.

Director
Shawn David Thompson

Country of Origin 
Yemen, USA

Language 
Arabic (English Subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2014/ 60 min

Presenter 
Hicham Assaoui

 

April 5

Before Your Eyes (Min Dit: The Children of Diyarbakir)

Click here to watch the trailer 

From the Variety review:

An extraordinary performance by a 10-year- old girl anchors "The Children of Diyarbakir," the debut feature of Miraz Bezar. Set in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, the pic takesa straightforward, non-sensationalized approach to the tragic story of a brother and sister orphaned when their parents are assassinated by a secret-services paramilitary officer. Though it shows its first-feature origins, the film has moments, especially toward the end, that so transcend the material as to make the journey doubly worthwhile. Bezar's ability to hold back allows this street-orphan tale to rise above the usual treatment of the subject. Bezar keeps the kids as real as possible without turning them into merely cute sympathy magnets; he also reveals a city in all its multiple facets, from dying neighborhoods to leafy residential sections where the privileged live, unmoved by or apathetic toward Kurdish repression.

Director 
Miraz Bezar  

Country of Origin 
Turkey/Germany 

Language 
Kurdish/Turkish (English Subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2009/102 min

Presenter 
Lara Taratihi

 

May 3

Theeb 

Click here to watch the trailer 

From The Washington Post review-

With its sunbaked vistas, deep-seated impulses of honor and vengeance and lone hero doing battle with nameless outlaws, “Theeb” often resembles a story worthy of Sergio Leone, reimaginedby way of the widescreen sweep of “Lawrence of Arabia.” …[This] foreign-language Academy Awards submission from Jordan may coin a new film genre: not the western, but the Middle Eastern.

Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat plays the title character, a boy of around 10 who lives with his older brother Hussein (Hussein Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen) with a group of their fellow Bedouins in 1916 Arabia. According to tradition, tribal members never refuse to offer hospitality to strangers, so when an itinerant guide and a British soldier approach their encampment one night, they slaughter a goat and offer the visitors coffee. When the men ask Hussein to guide them to a well along an old trail to Mecca, he complies in order to fulfill the legacy of his late father, a sheikh. Longing to be initiated into the ways of adulthood, Theeb tags along, embarking on a journey that will test him physically and mentally in ways he can’t imagine.

Director 
Naji Abu Nowar

Country of Origin 
Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, UK 

Language 
Arabic (English Subtitles)

Year/ Length 
2014/ 100 min

Presenter 
Aaron Graybill

 

Map of parking options and elevators to the underground ILC 

 

 

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