Library & Resources

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The Richard Ettinghausen Library is a non-circulating Middle East Reference Collection that is open to NYU students and faculty. It was named in honor of the late art historian who co-founded the Kevorkian Center in 1966 with Middle East historian R. Bayly Winder.

The library is open in the Fall semester from September to mid-December; and in the Spring semester from mid-January through the beginning of May, and closes for the entire Summer semester, May through the end of August.

 

Fall and Spring Hours:
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Summer Hours: Closed

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The Middle East and Islamic World Video Collection is owned by the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies of New York University.

Film collection location:
The Hagop Kevorkian Center
New York University
50 Washington Square South
255 Sullivan Street
New York, N.Y. 10012-1073
(212) 998-8873

Video Collection Film and Borrowing: contact kevorkian.center@nyu.edu

Table of Contents


CATALOGUE FORMAT: Film and video reviews are provided when possible by university faculty and staff members, and by other scholars in the field. If a film is reviewed, the reviewer's initials are indicated in brackets after the text. A key to reviewers is provided at the back of the guide. A description not followed by brackets indicates that the distributor's or director's summary has been used. 

The following format is used to indicate further information about the film: 
DREAMS OF HIND AND CAMILIA -- Title
1989 - Year
115 min. - Running Time
2" - Format (2" and 3/4" are videotape formats; 16 mm is film)
Color - Color
Arabic w/English subtitles - Language of film
M,H,U,G - Recommended audience (Middle School, High School, Undergraduate, Graduate)

BORROWING POLICY:

The Center owns more than 175 films and videotapes which are lent free of charge to universities, colleges, secondary and middle schools in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut). Because we want to be fair to all who borrow our resources, we ask that you help us by respecting the following guidelines: 

  1. Please let the Kevorkian Center know well in advance (two weeks or more) when you will need a title. Though we can usually accommodate your needs right away, some films are very popular and circulate often
  2. The video lending period is limited to two days after the video is screened. That is, all titles should be mailed back to the Center within two days of their scheduled screening dates. The due date of the video is one week after the screening date
  3. A fine of $1.00 per day shall be charged for each day past the due date that the video remains unreturned. No videos will be lent to borrowers with unpaid fines
  4. The Center sends out all films and videos via UPS; please return them using UPS (Attention: Associate Director) so that we can track them when necessary. Borrowers who fail to return a video using UPS or another traceable mail service will be fined $10.00. If a video is lost as a result, the borrower will be charged $10.00 as well as the cost of replacing the title. If the title cannot be replaced, borrowing privileges will be suspended
  5. Borrowers who lose, damage, or fail to return a video will be charged to replace it
  6. All videos and films should be rewound before returning them to the Center
  7. The Center follows all laws and regulations regarding copyright, and expects borrowers to similarly comply. Copying a borrowed film or videotape is prohibited as is screening it for profit
  8. To borrow audiovisual materials, please contact Jeremy Wheatley at jtw355@nyu.edu or (212) 998-8873(212) 998-8873

 

FILM/VIDEO CATALOGUE:

A - H

AFGHANISTAN: CAPTIVES OF THE WARLORDS: 
A film made during Taliban control of the country. Emphasizes the usual issues. [RDM]

Al-NAKBA: THE PALESTINIAN CATASTROPHE:
1948, 1998, 56 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available.

ALTALENA:
1994, 54 min, 2", Color, B/W, Some Hebrew w/English subtitles H,U,G 
The startling story of the ship which nearly caused a civil war in the newborn state of Israel. The Altalena sailed in June 1948 from France, carrying over 900 refugees from WWII along with a large amount of arms and ammunition. The arrival of the ship during an Israeli initiated cease-fire in the war of 1948 with neighboring Arab countries posed serious problems: its landing would be a breach of the new government's international commitment and the munitions on board that Israel needed were considered a threat by the opposition for a possible coup d'etat. Directed by Ilana Tsur.

ARABS AND THE WEST: (Part V of The Arab World): 
1991, 30 min., 2", Color, U,G.
Bill Moyers hosts a post-Gulf War interview with noted scholar Charles Issawi, who is professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton and past officer of the Egyptian Ministry of Finance and the United Nations. Despite the video's title, most of Moyers' questions deal with Islam and Muslims. He asks the standard issue questions, i.e. What do fundamentalists want? Which is the stronger unifying force: being Arab or being Muslim? and so on. Issawi's answers dispel basic false assumptions about Arabs and Muslims, such as the myth that pan-Arabism or pan-Islamism are anti-Western forces sweeping across the Middle East. Overall, however, much is left undiscussed and Moyers' questions are oddly ahistorical . [AGF] Produced by Public Affairs Television.

 

ARABS IN AMERICA:
1981, 28 min., 3/4", Color, H,U,G.
This upbeat survey of Arab immigration to the United States since the mid-19th century focuses on the problems faced and the adjustments made to become Americans. The imaginative use of old photographs as well as contemporary slides and interviews in communities ranging from Colorado to Connecticut, with special attention paid to the larger contemporary ethnic groups in Illinois and Michigan, is enhanced by an excellent musical score. [UNC] Wolfe and Friedlander for UCLA.

ARAMCO AT FIFTY:
1993, 53 min., 2", Color, B&W, M,H.
This promotional video focuses on the development of the American oil industry (and ARAMCO) in Saudi Arabia, beginning in 1933 with the first geological expeditions. Most valuable are early photos of exploration camps, regional topography, and the Arabian peninsula before development. The tape makes for a heroic tale, but as one might expect, fails to place American efforts in the larger context of oil exploration in the Arabian peninsula, Iran and Iraq that began with the British in the 1890s, and was joined by the Dutch, French and Americans in the next century. Briefly addresses the economics of oil and its effects on Saudi Arabia, preferring to concentrate on the good fortune it has brought to the kingdom. The Story of Oil is recommended for a history of oil and related development in the region, and Cities of Salt for a critique of the oil industry and its effects on Saudi Arabia. [AGF] Produced by ARAMCO. 

ARNA'S CHILDREN:
2003, 84 min., Color, Arabic, Hebrew, and English w/English subtitles
Yussef committed a suicide attack in 2001. Ashraf was killed by the Israeli army in 2002. Alla led a group of resistance fighters to his death in 2003. The director, who documented them as promising child actors in a theatre group he founded with his mother Arna, returns to Jenin Refugee Camp in April 2002, to see what happened to the children he knew and loved...

ART AND THE ISLAMIC WORLD:
1993, 32 min, 2", Color, H,U,G.
An excellent and easily accessible video that uses as illustrations slides of architecture, art and fine arts from all over the Islamic world, including Macedonia, Nigeria, North Africa, Western Asia and China. Each slide is helpfully labeled with a country location and century, allowing even those unfamiliar with Islamic art to note differences by region and time period. The narration begins with a brief introduction to Islam, offering theories on why Muhammad distrusted the arts of figurative sculpture and painting. The film discusses secular and religious themes, figures and styles characterizing art and architecture in Islamic countries, and helpfully points out that the idea of "Islamic art" is as hard to define as is the idea of Christian art. A concise, useful introduction that successfully conveys the breadth and variation of art in the Islamic world. [AGF] Produced by Walter Denny and Carel Bertram for Middle East Institute.

ASHKENAZ
2007, 72 minutes, Color.
Ashkenazim - Jews of European origin - are Israel's "white folks." And like most white folks in a multicultural society they see themselves as the norm and don't think of themselves in racial or ethnic terms because by now, "Aren't we all Israeli?" Yiddish has been replaced with Hebrew, exile with occupation, the shtetl with the kibbutz, and old-fashioned irony with post-modern cynicism. But the paradox of whiteness in Israel is that Ashkenazim aren't exactly "white folks" historically. Ashkenaz looks at whiteness in Israel and wonders: how did the "Others" of Europe become the "Europe" of the others?

AYASOPHIA:
1991 , 26 min, 2", Color, M,H,U.
A visit to Ayasofia includes a historical overview of this great monument completed in 537 for the Emperor Justinian as a church, and converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Explores the treasures and tales of the spectacular building in Istanbul, now a museum whose gardens house the largest Ottoman royal tombs, containing the bodies of a number of sultans and princes. Directed by Suha Arin for MTV-Istanbul.

BAB EL-OUED CITY :
1994, 93 min., 2", Color.
Algiers, 1989. The working class neighborhood Bab el-Oued is still in shock after the bloody riots of October 1988. At night, young Boualem works in a bakery. By day, the amplified call to pray disturbs his sleep. In a fit of anger, he tears down the loudspeaker on his building’s terrace and throws it into the sea. A group of young Islamists start looking for the culprit to make an example of him. 

A BAHRAINI TALE:
2006, 96 min., DVD, Color, Arabic w/ English subtitles
Set during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, this epic drama is both the personal story of a middle-class Bahraini family and an account of the hopes and faith of the Arab world had in Jamal Abdul Nasser as its leader. This is the third feature film from Bahrain, and all have been directed by Bassam Al-Thawadi, who shows flexibility in both style and subject, always demonstrating a deep sense of reality and romanticism. 

THE BATTLE FOR THE ARAB VIEWER:
2011, 48 min., Color.
In early 2011, people throughout the Arab world tuned into Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya - the two pan-Arab television networks - to watch the Egyptian revolution in real time. But was the content of those broadcasts - and the networks' subsequent coverage - influenced by their political allegiances? Al Jazeera, created by the Emir of Qatar, is a populist station that tends to champion causes hostile to the Saudi regime. Meanwhile, Al Arabiya, which is owned by a close friend of the Saudi ruling family, opposes popular groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Featuring interviews with current and former journalists from both networks, and analysis from independent pundits, THE BATTLE FOR ARAB VIEWERS highlights the ideological differences between the two pan-Arab networks.

BATTLE OF ALGIERS:
1966, 125 min., 2", B/W, French & Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
This vivid reenactment of the Algerian struggle for independence from France, 1954-1962, is presented in documentary style from the point of view of the FLN fighters. It graphically presents the contrast both architecturally and culturally between the medina, the old city, and the European metropolis, with the FLN employing elements of both cultures in their struggle against the French army. The brutalization of the French recruits and the descent of all combatants into terrorism make this film a classic of cinema verité. Battle of Algiers was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and received 11 international awards. [Images and Echoes] Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.

BEING MUSLIM IN INDIA:
1984, 40 min., 2", Color.
Some Hindi w/English subtitles H,U,G 
Outstanding study of a polygamous Muslim family in Lucknow. Qasim, a devout Sunni Muslim, and his family -- three wives and children -- all discuss the importance of their faith and the centrality of the Qu'ran. The first wife has observed seclusion since she was a small child, but the other two wives give frank descriptions of their roles, their relationships towards Qasim, each other and their children. Narrator makes clear that having more than one wife is an uncommon practice in Islam, but has chosen the family because of the many perspectives of its members. Through interviews with this family and with other residents, the film gently demystifies the grand symbols of Islam: rows of men in prayer, minarets and mosques, and the Qu'ran. [EFB] South Asian Center, University of Wisconsin

BEIRUT TO BOSNIA: MUSLIMS AND THE WEST: 
Part I: The Martyr's Smile 
Part II: The Road to Palestine 
Part III: To the ends of the Earth 
2000, 52 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not yet available.

BEN BARKA: THE MOROCCAN EQUATION: 
A description of this film is not yet available. 

BETHLEHEM DIARY: 
A description of this film is not yet available.

 

BETWEEN THE LINES:
1996, 30 min, 2", Color, M,H,U.
As the film's narrator explains, it tries to present "a more objective delineation" of Iran and Iranians, a worthy subject considering the typical American media images of the country in the nearly two decades following the revolution. The presentation is a bit stilted and amateurish, but the topic is important and the production an earnest one. This video addresses in particular the film Not Without My Daughter (1990), a TV movie based on the true story of a American woman who returns with her Iranian husband to post-revolutionary Iran, and is prevented by Islamic laws from leaving the country with her daughter. Includes comments by scholars, writers, and women married to Iranian men who have chosen to live in Iran, though no Iranians are interviewed. A platform for discussion on how media -- especially non "news" programs like movies -- shape our perception of other cultures and peoples. [AGF] Provided by the Iranian Mission to the UN (no director listed).

 

THE BOMBING 
A description of this film is not yet available. 

BOOK OF FESTIVITIES [SURNAMEH OF MURAD III]:
1960, 21 min., 2", 3/4", Color, H,U.
This short film looks at the album of miniatures produced to record the 40-day celebration organized in Istanbul by Sultan Murad III in 1582. This type of illuminated documentation continued the tradition of earlier shahnamehs (books of kings) produced in Iran, which became national epics. This particular book was commissioned by Murad III to display his wealth to the world, but also reveals a wealth of human detail: the sultan's son coming forward to kiss his hand, displays of craft by guildsmen, mock battles on horseback, wrestling, and the lighting of fireworks on the last day. The narration is simple, composed mainly of basic references to what is pictured without giving much historical, political or cultural context. This film could be well-used with a directed discussion of the period. [AGF] Directed and produced by Ipsiroglu.

BOUJAD: A NEST IN THE HEAT:
1994, 90 mins., 2", Color, U,G.
A close and at times anguishing look at issues of separation, independence and return, this film follows the director home to his family's village in Morocco, as he prepares to tell them that he won't be returning again. The director's exploration of family relationships is self-conscious and at times painfully honest, including the audience in the most private moments with his family. The film offers an intimate look at domestic spaces and religious rituals (included is a lengthy prayer sequence during a graveside visit to grandparents) and illustrates well the complexity of inter-family relationships, especially when compounded by one member's break with family traditions and expectations. [AGF] Directed by Hakim A. Belabbes. 

BREAD AND CHOCOLATE: 
1974, 109 min., Color, Italian dialogue w/English subtitles. 
A description of this film is not yet available

119 BULLETS + THREE:
1995, 60 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Named for the number of bullets fired by Baruch Goldstein at the Cave of Patriarchs massacre and the number fired by Yigal Amir when he assassinated Yitzak Rabin, this video presents an intimate look at religious and ideological extremism in Israel, which played a major role in both events. Beginning in Hebron with the 1994 massacre by Goldstein, the filmmakers spend 18 months visiting and interviewing extremist West Bank settlers who seem prepared to oppose the peace process at any cost. Examines political and ideological issues at the heart of Israel=s future. Directed by Yeud Levanon & Amit Goren.

BUDRUS
2009, 82 min., Color, Arabic, Hebrew & English w/English subtitles.
Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women's contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat.

BUT YOU SPEAK SUCH GOOD ENGLISH 
A description of this film is not yet available.

BYE BYE:
1996, 107 min., 2", Color, French w/English subtitles.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

 

CAMERA d'ARABE - The Young Arab Cinema:
1987, 60 min., 2", Color, B/W, In English w/some subtitled Arabic, U,G.
Camera d'Arabe relates the story of auteur Arab cinema existence, from the 1950s through the early 1980s. Using a series of interviews with major filmmakers (including Egyptian director Youssef Chahine), lengthy film clips, and informative narration, Boughedir has created a superb introduction to new Arab cinema. He traces its genesis from liberation themes linked with independence movements of the 1950s and early 1960s, through the flowering of a variety of topics including women's position in society, injustice and occupation; and finally self-examination and despair prompted by the post-1967 situation in the Arab world. He stresses the primary nature of politics in the Arab filmmaker's conscience, and touches on crucial economic dimensions of filmmaking, such as the difficulty of establishing a distribution network to compete with readily available foreign films. [AGF] Directed by Farid Boughedir. 

CANTICLES OF THE STONE:
1990, 110 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

CELEBRATING THE PROPHET IN THE REMEMBRANCE OF GOD: SUFI DHIKR IN EGYPT:
1997, 39 min., 2", Color, U,G.
This video is useful for instructors wishing to give students some sense of the rituals of dhikr, the elaborate and prayerful recitation of God's names by Sufi Muslims C as performed in different settings with different participants in Egypt. It focuses specifically on two religious singers of contrasting types. The commentary stresses varying interpretations of the place of dhikr and of Sufism in Islamic practice, addressing disputes with some ulema, Islamic reformists, and radicals. The accompanying transcription is very useful, though the video's commentary is delivered in a monotone, and the color and photography are often poor. "Celebrating the Prophet" is probably best used in discussion groups to illustrate particular points. See I am a Sufi, I am a Muslim for dhikr as performed in Pakistan, Turkey, India, and Macedonia. [MG] Directed by Valerie J. Hoffman.

 

CHANGING LIVES: WOMEN OF THE MIDDLE EAST:
1993, 15 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Directed by Colleen Caden, an MA alumna in the Joint Program in Near Eastern Studies and Journalism, this polished, professional short film investigates the diversity of roles C traditional and nontraditional C that women choose in contemporary Middle Eastern society, and explores the rewards and repercussions of these choices. She interviews three women: a young, university-educated Muslim Irani continuing her studies at NYU; a former prima ballerina from Egypt teaching at NYU (also a Muslim); and an older Egyptian, Christian woman whose economic status goes undiscussed. The women ponder lifestyle choices and how their decisions were shaped by their views and experiences of women's roles in society, and by paternal relationships. [CNES] Directed by Colleen Caden. Produced by NYU's Journalism Dept. 

CHARULATA: THE LONELY WIFE:
1964, 117 min., 2", B&W, Bengali w/English subtitles.
A description of this film is not yet available.

CHATILA: 
2001, 44 min. 
A description of this film is not available.

CHILDREN OF HEAVEN: 
83 min. 
A description of this film is not available.

CHILDREN OF SHATILA: 
1998, 50 min. 
A description of this film is not available.

CHRONICLES OF THE YEARS OF EMBER:
1997, 178 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

CINEMA FOUAD:

30 min. 
A description of this film is not yet available.

CIRCLE WITHIN THE SQUARE: 
52 min. 
A description of this film is not available. 

THE CITIES OF ISLAM: CAIRO:
1987, 25 min., 2", Color, H,U.
This slightly faded rendering of Cairo gives a brief sense of the city's history from its medieval beginnings under the Fatimids and as a major stop along trade routes from Arabia to Africa. Also traces its rich cultural and religious heritage. The context is mostly architectural and artistic, rather than political or historical, describing the walled city under Saladin, the mausoleums and monuments of the Mamluks, and Muhamad Ali's mosque built while Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire. Contains footage of streets and souks, focusing on artisans of "traditional" trades such as metalwork, inlay, and leather. Common pitfalls are scenes of camels in the desert as a representation of Cairo and Arabs, who are at one point called a "desert people." At times the film implies (erroneously) that little has changed since the Middle Ages. [AGF] Directed by John Dooley for Polonius Production.

 

THE CITIES OF ISLAM: FEZ:
1987, 24 min., 2", Color, H,U.
This film goes further than its counterpart on Cairo in suggesting that Islamic cities are stuck in the Middle Ages, explaining that Fez houses a "medieval society living almost unchanged" since its founding in 808 AD. Though the film concentrates on Fez as a center of learning during the Middle Ages and emphasizes the exchange of ideas through traveling scholars, craftsmen, religious dignitaries and merchants; neither that exchange nor 43 years of French rule keep Fez from being described as a "living museum." Despite this major fault, the film is useful for its excellent footage of the architecture of the city (with special focus on the city's oldest mosque and school, founded by two women) and the detailed working of metal, leather and textiles. Also treats fairly accurately the importance of the family unit and women's roles. [AGF] Directed by John Dooley for Polonius Production. 

THE CITIES OF ISLAM: ISTANBUL:
1988, 28 min., 2", Color, H,U.
The most comprehensive of the series of three, this film gives a useful historic overview for beginning students, describing the city's successive eras as Byzantium, Constantinople and finally Istanbul, and visiting monuments from each period. Includes visits to the Topkapi palace, Aya Sofia, Blue Mosque and Mosque of Suleiman with (at times overgeneralized) discussions of the architecture of mosques. Includes engaging street scenes illustrating the vitality of the city: a tea vendor serving a customer from his portable urn, men gathered in a shop to smoke hookahs, and wrestlers competing on Prince's Islands. Each of these three films would profit from pairing with The Islamic City. [AGF] Directed by John Dooley for Polonius Production. 

CITIES OF SALT:
1992, 38 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles and narration, H,U,G.
This fascinating profile of novelist Abd el-Rahman Munif and his series of five books, beginning with Cities of Salt, includes interviews with Munif, dramatizations and readings of his novels, and pre- and post-oil footage and photographs. Cities of Salt is the story of the destruction of a desert community by American oil men; successive books in the series follow the development of the surreal society left in its place. Munif's sharp criticism (he calls the oil industry "alien...unconnected to what surrounds it") misses neither the British who handed out oil concessions, the Americans who took them, nor the shortsighted Saudi rulers who allowed it all to happen. His critique provides a sharp contrast to the myth that oil has meant wealth and happiness for all Saudi Arabians. (Showing this title alongside ARAMCO AT FIFTY provides an opportunity for critical analysis for younger students.) Note: There is a two-minute space on the tape between parts I and II. [AGF] Directed by Christopher Spencer & Patrick Matthews. Produced by Tariq Ali. 

 

CITIZEN BISHARA: 
A description of this film is not available. 

CLOSE, CLOSED, CLOSURE: 
2002, 52 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.


A COMMON GROUND...WHERE THREE RELIGIONS COME TOGETHER:
1987, 21 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Using the holy city of Jerusalem as a stage, this presentation explores some of the commonalties and differences of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, three great religions that have their roots in Southwest Asia. Examining the sacred texts of each, the film compares without judgment central issues such as divine revelation, transcendence, profession of faith, the relationship of man to God, the significance of laws and teachings, and beliefs about the reign of God and final judgment. The film incorporates useful historical maps, religious architecture, and many scenes from the city of Jerusalem. This is a fair comparison of beliefs and practices that does not concentrate so much on the history of contact between the religions as on their individual structures and practices. [AGF] Produced by David Nalle for the Islamic Affairs Program of the Middle East Institute. 

THE CONQUEST OF SPAIN: History's Turning Point series:
1995, 30 min., 2", Color, M,H.
Focuses on the decisions made by Tariq Ibn Ziyad and his Berber warriors, this program explores the Moors' conquest of Spain and traces the spread of Arab influence throughout the Iberian peninsula. While it gives a sense of the importance of the Iberian peninsula in the spread of Islam and Islamic culture, much of the video focuses primarily on battles. It tends to portray Visigoths (who controlled the region before 711), Arabs and Berbers as clever but ruthless warriors taking over a land of peaceful Christians (who are constantly shown praying and chanting in church!). Though it mentions that Muslims ruled parts of Spain for 700 years, there is little information regarding how they ruled and how their culture left a lasting imprint on Europe. A better choice is Spain, The Moorish Influence. [CNES] Directed by Greg Lanning. Produced by Transatlantic. 

THE COW (Gav):
1969, 79 min., 2", B&W, Persian w/English subtitles, U,G.
This classic Iranian film revolves around the death of Hasan's cow C his identity, and symbol of wealth and status in the small village. Unable to accept the death of his cow, Hasan withdraws into a state of madness, becoming himself a cow. Within this deceptively simple plot lies rich insight into the web of village values and interrelationships. The struggle to maintain sanity and dignity in the face of subsistence poverty and constant threat from outside raiders is completely apolitical. Though the sound track is erratic and subtitles difficult to read, this film elicits strong emotional involvement with its complex portrait of a man who has lost his future. Winner of the International Film Critics Prize at the 1971 Venice Film Festival. [Images and Echoes] Directed by Darius Mehrjui.

CRUSADES 
1995, 50 min. each (4 tapes), 2", Color, M,H,U. 
Examines the reasons for the Crusades, the creation of a mythology of knights and chivalry and the legacy of distrust between East and West. Though some viewers may be offended by the occasional flippant remark (the narrator is a member of the Monty Python Flying Circus team), the videos are more successful in portraying multiple perspectives on the Crusades than the average U.S. textbook. In Part III, focusing on the Second Crusade, a "newscast from the past" includes interviews with participants in events in various parts of the world. Fabricated historical advertisements for 1144 A.D. capture the viewer's attention, particularly promotion of pepper, a new spice from the West. The series does present as contemporaneous events that may be 40 years apart, but it is possible to make a game of identifying the variance. (Younger students could write their own script for interviews across a particular time period.) [EDB] Directed by Alan Ereira &David Wallace for the BBC. 

THE CYCLIST:
1989, 75 min., 2", Color.
Farsi w/ English subtitles A description of this film is not yet available. 

DANCES OF GOD:
ca. 1979, 12 min., 2" Color M,H,U,G.
Winning an award for the best short documentary film in Europe in 1981, Dances of God captures the ecstasy of the whirling dervish ritual. Filmed on location in Konya (Turkey), the film depicts one of the main groups of whirling dervishes in the country. The first two minutes have several glitches, but overall, they do not detract from viewer involvement. Note: Since the film has no narration, it can be prefaced with discussion of the history and symbolism of the ritual, the importance of the garments worn, etc. [CNES] Directed by Marc Mopti. 

 

THE DEAD WEIGHT OF A QUARREL HANGS: 
1991, 19 min., 2". Color. 
A description of this film is not available. 

THE DISPUTATION: A THEOLOGICAL DEBATE BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND JEWS:
1993, 65 mins, 2" Color, U,G.
Public theological debates between Christians and Jews were a frequent feature of the Middle Ages. This program recreates one of the most famous, the Barcelona Disputation of 1263 between Moses Nahmanides and the apostate Pablo Christiani. Written by Haim Maccoby, the film is well-researched and avoids melodrama. The disputation scenes are interspersed with conversations between key players that provide historical context. [CEH] Produced by Films for the Humanities. 

A DOOR TO THE SKY [Bab Al-Sama' Maftuh]:
1989, 107 min., 2" Color.
Arabic w/English subtitles U,G
In this cinematographically breathtaking film, Nadia returns from Paris, where she is a student, to her family home in Fez, where her father is dying. In the period following her father's death, she is disturbed by visions that are interpreted as a call to Islam. She decides to remain in Morocco and turn the family home into a shelter for abused women. Women seek refuge there, and when it seems that they will establish a strong and self-sufficient unit, Nadia runs off with a young man whom she had been called to heal. Many Arab women are writing about the importance of sisterhood but few have written about the establishment of an all-women's community founded on Islamic principles (although the director seems to insist that a feminist utopia within an Islamic context must ultimately eschew segregation). This film will be of particular interest as one example of Islamic feminism. [MC] Directed by Farida Ben Lyazid. 

A DREAM OF JUSTICE AND PEACE WITH HANAN ASHRAWI:
1995, 52 min. 2" Color H,U,G.
Framed by the story of Hanan Ashrawi, a former spokesperson for the PLO and key delegate on the 1991 Madrid negotiating team, this is a fascinating Palestinian narrative of contemporary "peace issues" that began decades ago. With archival footage and interviews with major Palestinian and some Israeli political figures, this video offers a history of Palestinians' efforts -- the sidewalk news conferences in Madrid, the "Palestinian Speech" -- to be recognized as a people with legitimate rights and interests. This discussion is enriched throughout by early footage of and interviews with Ashrawi from her student days at the American University of Beirut; her term as dean of faculty at Birzeit University; and in her current role as founder of the watchdog group, the Independent Commission for Citizens' Rights. A way to understand a part of Palestinian history through the work of one of its major women leaders. [AGF] Directed by Christopher Swann. Produced by Daoud Kuttab and Ray Bruce. 

DREAMING A NATION: THE KURDS Nationalism: Blood and Belonging series:
1994, 50 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
The researcher for this film is Sheri Laizer, author of Into Kurdistan: Frontiers Under Fire (Zed Books, 1991), which is part travelogue and part political commentary. The film has mainly been shot in the Iraqi and Turkish parts of Kurdistan and contains interviews with politicians as well as lay Kurds from parts of Iraqi, Turkish and Iranian Kurdistan. The film addresses how Kurds have managed to survive for more than four millennia, especially during nationalist clashes in recent decades (with Turkey and Iraq). Includes footage of the fledgling democracy in the de facto Kurdish state in northern Iraq and a few graphic scenes of the 1988 gas massacre in the Kurdish town of Halabja. There is rare footage of the training grounds for female fighters of the Kurdish Workers Party, which seeks a "socialist, feminist and secular Kurdistan." [AF] Produced by Films for the Humanities.

 

DREAMING A NATION: THE KURDS


DUBAI: A CITY OF DREAMS
2010, 64 min., Color, English subtitles
Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum dreamed of transforming what was once a sleepy fishing and pearl diving village into the ultimate 21st century metropolis. In just ten years, he has delivered the tallest building in the world, the most expensive hotel, the biggest man-made island, the biggest shopping mall, the biggest airport, and the longest fully automated metro system. And that's just for starters. To make his dream come true, Sheikh Mohammed has imported to Dubai over a million slave laborers. He charges them $2,000-5,000 for a visa and work permit and pays them less than a dollar an hour. He confiscates their passports and houses them in slum-like gated labor camps. They work 12 hours a day, six days a week, in often over one hundred degree temperatures. Sheikh Mohammad keeps them hidden from the public eye and censors information on them. Speaking up on labor issues in Dubai is punishable by a fine and imprisonment up to two years. The laborers make up more than 60% of the Dubai population. They are the silent, invisible majority that lives in the dark underbelly of the city. This documentary gives them a voice. It tells their heart-wrenching story.

THE DUPES:
1972, 107 min., 2", B/W, Arabic w/English subtitles, U,G.
This stark, stately black and white film traces the destinies of three different men brought together by their dispossession, their despair, and their hope for a better future. The time is the 1950's, the place, Iraq, and the protagonists, Palestinian refugees who are trying to make their way across the border to Kuwait, the "promised land," concealed in the steel tank of a truck. Each one believes he can make a new life for himself; but as the films title suggests, their flight is no solution. One of the first Arab films to address the Palestinian question, the story is based on the 1962 novella, Men in the Sun , by the Palestinian writer, artist and resistance leader Ghassan Kanafani. Directed by Tewfik Saleh. Video is not catalogued and not available in collection.

THE DYNASTY: THE NEHRU-GANDHI STORY, Part I + II: 
1998, 90 min. each, 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available. 


EGYPT: THE HABIT OF CIVILIZATION: The Legacy Series:
1991, 57 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Part of a six-part PBS series, this installment explores the civilization of Pharaonic Egypt and its influence on later cultures. The early section examines its monuments (primarily pyramids), hieroglyphic writings, and rituals and beliefs centering around divine kingship and the realm of the dead. When he's not indulging in overly dramatic displays (a midnight excursion inside a pyramid or the scaling of same), writer/director Michael Wood gives a fairly thorough history of this civilization that lasted from 3100 B.C. until Alexander invaded Lower Egypt in 332 BC He provides a detailed account of the Coptic Christian presence and Christian influences over time. Islam is unfortunately introduced with the image of men on camels in a hazy desert. Despite the inaccuracy of some images and Michael Wood taking on the role of "discoverer," this film gives a detailed explanation of Pharaonic history and its continuing relationship with 20th century civilization. [AGF] Produced and directed by Michael Wood for PBS.

 


EMBROIDERED CANTICLES [Cantiques Brodes] Morocco, Body and Soul series 
1989, 26 min., 2", Color, Some Arabic, Hebrew &French w/subtitles, H,U,G.
This concert film features Moroccan musical masters Rabbi Haim Louk and Abd el-Sadek Chekara performing mystical songs from the matrouz tradition. With its Andalusian roots, matrouz is a shared Muslim-Jewish musical form incorporating Arabic and Hebrew poetry, and reflecting the centuries-old link between Jewish and Muslim societies in North Africa. Includes some discussion of the similarities of the poetical texts, and an intimate feel for the musical and personal relationship between these two performers. [AGF] Directed by Izza Genini.

500 DUNAM ON THE MOON: 
2002, 47 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available. 

A FEMALE CABBY IN SIDI BEL-ABBES
2000, 52 min., VHS, Color 
At the death of husband, Soumicha, mother of three children, has to earn a living and becomes the only woman taxi driver in Sidi Bel-Abbes (Algeria). Soumichatakes us around her city, introducing us to the many contradictory aspects of this society. She acquaints us, in the course of her travels, with other women who, like herself, are struggling for more freedoms.

THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM (World of Islam series):
1988, 30 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Focusing primarily on the five pillars, this film provides a useful overview of the practice, history and geographical diversity of this religion with more than 1 billion adherents. The film's strength lies in its details: a father teaching his sons the stages and positions of prayer in Abu Dhabi, a woman praying by herself in the desert, and men performing ablutions before prayer at a mosque in Lahore -- all interspersed with passages from and discussion of the Qur'an. Its weaknesses can be addressed during post-film discussions: an over reliance on footage from Saudi Arabia, which could lead students to think most Muslims live there and are Arabs. (This is compounded by the narrator's failure to mention that the majority of Muslims are not Arab.) There are also many scenes in the desert and few in urban centers, another misrepresentation. Also, though scenes from the hajj are sufficient, more comprehensive explanations of the pilgrimage are available in Mecca, The Forbidden City and Journey of a Lifetime. [AGF] Directed by Michele Arnaud.

FOR THOSE WHO SAIL TO HEAVEN:
1990, 48 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
The video leads us through the celebrations of the moulid, or birth feast, of Sidi Abu'l Hajjaj, whom legend says came from Iraq in the 12th century, usurped power from the matriarch of Luxor, and wove a thread around the town to achieve dominion. The moulid occurs at the temple of Luxor, where the divine boats of the gods once sailed in the ancient Egyptian feast of Opet. The film is given depth by constant comparison with the early Egyptian feast, and includes 1925 footage of the moulid. The film progresses between the current and ancient Egyptian practices, such as the use of mast poles, model boats, ritual combat, and the procession of the boats. We view the arrival of crowds from the countryside, chanting in the tomb, traditional stick-dancing, equestrian games, and the pulling of sacred boats around town on the main day of the moulid. Wickett has carefully portrayed the intertwining of ancient and modern so important in Egyptian life, but often missing in Western portrayal of Egypt. [MM] Produced by Elizabeth Wickett, Folklore Dept. of University of Pennsylvania.

 

FORCES OF CHANGE: WOMEN ARTISTS OF THE ARAB WORLD:
1994, 24 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
Produced in conjunction with a traveling exhibit by Arab women artists, this film interviews 17 participants and shows examples of their work. The artists discuss their work in the context of feminist expression, and address issues such as traditions in their societies, ecology, Islam and human rights. Narrated by Casey Kasem. Directed by Zuheir al-Fiqih for International Council for Women in the Arts. 

FOUR WOMEN IN EGYPT:
1997, 90 min., 2", Color, French and Arabic w/English subtitles.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

FRAGMENTS OF A REVOLUTION
2011, 57 min., Color. 
Fragments of a Revolution goes beyond the headlines and the tweets to tell the story of the protests that swept Iran in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election. Directed by an anonymous Iranian living in exile, the film brings together clandestinely sent emails, online videos and footage shot by protesters in the midst of demonstrations.

FRONTIERS OF DREAMS AND FEARS: 
A description of the film is not available.

GHAZEIA:
1998, 50 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

THE GIFT OF ISLAM:
1970, 28 min., 2", Color, H,U.
This film introduces the great cultural achievements of the Islamic World to the West in the fields of architecture, engineering, navigation, geography, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, horticulture, crafts, metallurgy, calligraphy, literature, music, and philosophy. High points of extant Islamic architecture - the Ka'aba, the Prophet's Mosque at Medina, Dome of the Rock - exemplify the flow of architectural style. Stressing the concept that "each civilization is nourished by the other," this film is a recommended preface to studies in Islamic civilization. [Images and Echoes] Produced by Graham Associates for Exxon. 

THE GODS OF OUR FATHERS (The Human Race series):
1994, 51 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
This engaging video looks back in history for alternatives to patriarchy, hierarchy and militarization -- especially as practiced in the United States -- and finds them in ancient Egypt. In the first 34-minute section, narrator Gwynne Dyer examines customs and beliefs in Egyptian societies that included goddesses in religious ideologies and established a king's legitimacy as stemming from his queen. A brief treatment of veiling is also included in its historical context as a non-religious statement in Mesopotamia, medieval Europe and classical Greece and Rome. The shorter second section traces the demise of the matriarchal society, and ensuing importance of the control of women. Explained clearly and with the help of several young Egyptian scholars, this video prods us to reexamine assumptions about modern societies. [AGF] Directed by Anne Henderson. Written by Gwynne Dyer.

GOLAN HEIGHTS: FACT AND FICTION:
1993, 51 min., 2", Color, U,G.
Filmed around the time of the Madrid peace talks, this amateurish video aimed specifically at an American audience purports to separate the ill-informed Western understanding of the history of the Golan Heights from the "facts" of its history. While the film does contain rarely examined photos of towns destroyed by the Israelis after the 1967 war, it mixes random historical information about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict with wild assertions about Zionists (quoting extremists like Meir Kahane and claiming that Israel intends to regain Biblical lands including large sections of Jordan). The film is less about the Golan than an indictment of Zionism. A poorly made film from many perspectives. Use sparingly and with directed discussion. [AGF] Produced by American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism. 

 

GOODBYE MUBARAK!
2011, 72 min., DVD, Color
On January 25, 2011, the world was captivated as thousands of protesters flooded Tahrir Square in Cairo, demanding an end to the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. But the ground for the protests had been laid in the weeks and months preceding the mass outpouring of opposition. GOODBYE MUBARAK! takes us to Egypt during the fall of 2010, in the run-up to legislative elections. What we discover is a revolution-in-waiting already simmering under the surface of Egyptian society.

GOSPEL TRUTH (Testament: The Bible and History):

1988, 52 min., 2", Color, U,G.
This program shows the historical remains of the time and place, perhaps of the life, of Jesus and describes how the Christian Bible came into being. The program begins in Jerusalem to find the sources of early Christian literature and traces the evidence for the dating and attribution of the four Gospels and of other contemporary writings like the Gospel of Thomas. The focus shifts to Rome, to the persecutions begun by Nero that led to martyrdoms throughout the Roman world, and closes with the compilation of the Bible's books made by Iranaeus, who rendered Christianity and its writings accessible to the Empire and, eventually, its Emperor. Films for the Humanities.

GRASS : A NATION'S BATTLE FOR LIFE:
1927, 1992, 70 min., 2", B&W, H,U,G.
This classic documentary follows the migration of the Bakhtiari tribe of Persia (now Iran) across the Zagros mountains in search of green pastures for their sheep and goats. Twice a year more than 50,000 people and half a million animals surmounted seemingly impossible obstacles, including torrential rivers and 15,000 foot high mountains. Includes early sequences of a caravan and desert patrol in Anatolia. This restored and full-length version also has a new Iranian score. [CNES] Directed by Merian Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack, & Marguerite Harrison for Paramount. Restored by Milestone Film &Video. 

GULF WAR: OPERATION DESERT STORM, THE COMPLETE STORY:
1991, 120 min., 2", Color, H,U.
This video serves as a record of the episode in the Persian Gulf. It examines the context in which the conflict occurred, the development of "Desert Shield", and the escalation towards a full-scale military war. With the lines of battle drawn, the two protagonists emerged as Norman Schwarzkopf and Saddam Hussein. A profile of each is included in the program, helping to bring into focus the pressures and dilemmas each faced. Produced by Independent Television News.

 

HALFMOON:
1995, 90 min., 2", Color, English/Arabic w/English subtitles.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

HAMSIN (DESERT WIND):
1983, 90 min., 2", Color, Hebrew & Arabic w/English subtitles, U,G.
In this heavy-handed feature, Gedalia, an Israeli farmer living in Galilee, works alongside Haled, an Arab laborer he has employed and who shares his hopes for building a cattle ranch. A kind of friendship develops, so that Haled trusts Gedalia's motives when, amid reports of government plans to confiscate Arab land, he offers to purchase the farm of his Arab neighbor as protection. Haled continues to work for Gedalia, even after other Arab workers abandon the farmer and warn Haled of his "real" motives. As tensions rise over the confiscations, Haled finds himself caught between his friends and his belief in Gedalia, who tries to protect Haled from harassment by neighboring Israeli farmers. At the same time, Haled is drawn into an affair with Gedalia's visiting sister, and as one might predict, a violent outcome looms. [AGF] Directed by Daniel Wachsmann.

HANAN ASHRAWI: A WOMAN OF HER TIME 
1995, 50 min., 2", Color. 
This film concentrates on Ashrawi's significant role as a spokesperson of PLO in inaugurating the peace process in the Middle East. This documentary protrays Ashrawi's life and activities in the aftermath of the Oslo Peace Accords and examines the impact of the peace process on the daily lives of the Palestinians. Having refused to hold a formal position in the Palestinian government, Ashrawi continues her activism by working with the Independent Commission for Citizen's Rights, an organization she founded. Drawing on the interviews with Hanan Ashrawi, archival footage and scenes from the streets of Jerusalem, this film depicts the story of an important woman who is one of the key players in the struggle for peace and justice. Produced by Marty Antoinette Shoe for Manhattan Cable TV..

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. MOGRABI: 
1999, 77 min., 2", Color. 

THE HAREM PROJECT: AN ISLAMIC ARTS EXPERIENCE: 
1993, 120 min., 2", Color, U,G. 
An interview with Avis Allman, visual artist and former Kevorkian Center Visiting Scholar, on her experiences as an artist working at the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. Ms. Allman is a specialist in the creation of modern ceramic tiles and carpets inspired by the Ottoman tradition. 

HIDDEN WARS OF DESERT STORM: 
2000, 64 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.

THE HORSE:
1983, 116 min., 2", Color, Turkish w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
Set in modern Turkey, The Horse is a beautiful and moving portrayal of a father and son coming to grips with external hardships and their own human frailties as they attempt to earn enough money to send the boy to school. Ozgenturk's goals for the film were simple: "I wanted to interweave problems of everyday life so closely into the story of this film that they seem to be no longer common at all." The director's portrayal of the characters' problems against the realistic background of poverty and desperation proved so unsettling that the Turkish government sent him to prison for making The Horse. Directed by Ali Ozgenturk.

HOSTAGE OF TIME:
1994, 50 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

HUMAN BEING:
1994, 27 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available.

 

HUMAN WEAPON: 
2002, 55 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available. 

I - P

I AM A SUFI, I AM A MUSLIM:

1994, 52 min., 2", Color, some Arabic w/English subtitles, M,H,U,G.
This Belgian production is a solid introduction of Sufism, a branch of Islam that is less known in the West than the more mainstream Sunni and Shi-i practices. Focuses primarily on Sufism as it is practiced in parts of Pakistan and Macedonia, but also visits India and Turkey (Rumi is not discussed). Abundant footage of zikr traditions, with cogent explanation of saint worship, importance of qawwali music, and attainment of the ecstatic state. Gives context to various orders and traditions, discussing for instance how Sufis' roles in Ottoman military processions have influenced the kinds of musical rhythms one hears in Macedonian zikrs. Includes performance by famed Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Warning: Includes graphic scenes of tongue, cheek, and body piercing during the ecstatic state that may be unsuitable for younger students. [AGF] Directed by Dirk Dumon. 

I LOVE HIP HOP IN MOROCCO
2007, 80 min., DVD, Color A determined group of Moroccan Hip Hop hopefuls band together to create their country's first Hip Hop festival, a celebration of music, unity, and free speech.

I MISS THE SUN:
1984, 20 min., 2", Color M,H,U.
In this tale of a modern day exodus, Mary Halawani profiles her grandmother, who left Egypt in the wake of rising nationalism and anti-Zionism in 1962. She was the last one in her family to leave Egypt and join her children, who had already moved to America. Using the Passover seder as the backdrop, Halawani examines the matriarch of a close Middle Eastern family, and the contrasts between the values and textures of life there and in America. Her grandmother misses the warmth and closeness of families in the society she left behind, as this is vividly portrayed in the care she lavishes on the elaborate and bountiful meal that brings her children and their families to her home each year. [AGF] Directed by Mary Halawani.

I SHALL SALUTE THE SUN ONCE AGAIN: 

1998, 55 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not yet available.

I WANT A SOLUTION: 
1975, 109 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.

INTERVIEW WITH HASHEMI RAFSANJANI (ON CBS & C-SPAN):
1997, 120 min., 2", Color, M,H,U,G.
This fascinating interview stems from Mike Wallace's decision to sit down with Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani in March 1997, two months before the national elections in Iran. Tape includes the 13-minute segment that aired on 60 Minutes; followed by the 50-minute (full-length, though edited) interview that aired on C-SPAN; and ends with the live, call-in Q&A session with Mike Wallace that immediately followed the C-SPAN broadcast. The interview ranges from standard political topics C how the two governments view each other, the possibilities for resuming normal relations, the assassination of Iranian nationals in Europe, accusations of terrorism C to lesser-known issues, such as the state of Iranian economy, the high numbers of women in the workplace, the practice of 'temporary marriage', in the Islamic Republic, and the banning of satellite TV. Aside from the interview itself, the contrast between the 60 Minutes version and the full-length, C-SPAN version gives students plenty to discuss on how the news is constructed. Particularly interesting is the post-commentary, much of it from Iranian-Americans. [AGF] Produced by C-SPAN and CBS. 

 

INTEZAAR (Waiting):
1995, 26 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
Stemming from the director's personal experience of growing up in a Gazan refugee camp, the film offers a critical and provocative scrutiny of these camps, which were established by the UN in 1948 as temporary housing. Interviewing family and friends, Masharawi explores the despair of this semi-permanent condition of existence. Directed by Rashid Masharawi. 

INTRODUCTION TO THE ARAB WORLD:
*Study Guide available with video.
1988, 48 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
This three-part survey of the Arab world - "Overview," "Islam," and "Arab Society Today" - combines slides and film clips to introduce the peoples and places of the region and to address its most important concerns. The first 15-minute segment details the full panorama of ethnic diversity: non-Arabs in the Middle East, Arabs who are not Muslims, and non-Arab Muslims. Hard-to-read maps are the only drawback of this section. "Islam" is set in a global context with lucid explanations of the basic tenets, and recognition of the Judaeo-Christian continuum. The last segment offers a lively survey of the contemporary and older Arab world, with emphasis on the accelerating tempo of today's transformations of cities, agriculture, education, health care, and communication. The review of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and European colonization is incisive and unbiased. (The guidebook is an excellent supplementary resource, including a world history timeline, brief histories of major Near Eastern dynasties, maps, and classroom exercises.) [EFB] Directed by Leslie Schmida Nucho for AMIDEAST.

INTRODUCTION TO THE END OF AN ARGUMENT (INTIFADA): SPEAKING FOR ONESELF...SPEAKING FOR OTHERS:
1990, 45 min., 2", Color, U,G.
Combining "found artifacts" from Europe, the United States and Israel -- news sound bites, movie clips, cartoons, pop songs and documentary footage shot in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- End of An Argument critiques Western-based representations of Arab culture. The video artists cleverly mimic the Western tableau in a mix of fragmented stereotypes that illustrate how we impose our own narratives on the Middle East in fiction and nonfiction alike. Underlines well how this stream of simplistic materials merges into a blurry but insidious ethnocentric consensus that Arabs are somehow less worthy and civilized than "us," whomever "us" may be. [AGF] Directed by Elia Sulieman and Jayce Salloum. 

IRAN: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE:
1992, 32 min., 2", Color, M,H.
This promotional video views like a travel guide with historical background. Describes geographic features, crops, industries, education, architecture, scientific achievements, and gives a generic history of rule beginning with the Aryans. Most useful sections feature musical performances, instrumental and the singing of poetry. [AGF] Produced by the Permanent Mission of Iran to the United Nations.

 

IRANIAN JOURNEY: 
2000, 60 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available. 

IRAQ: THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION (The Legacy Series):
1991, 57 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
In another installment of the six-part PBS Legacy series, Michael Wood visits Iraq, and traces the region's early history as home to some of the oldest and most productive cities in the world. His itinerary includes Irbil, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world; Baghdad, which became one of the greatest cultural centers after its founding by Arab Muslims in the 8th century; Mosel, once a center for Eastern Christians, and many other sites. He skillfully traces and interweaves the histories of early inhabitants and of religious groups from the days of Ur to the present. Overall, a carefully detailed presentation with fewer intrusive acts than the installment on Egypt. [AGF] Produced and directed by Michael Wood for PBS.

IRAQ THEN AND NOW: THE UNHEARD VOICES OF IRAQI WOMEN: 
2003, 48 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.


IRAQ: SANCTIONS AND SUFFERING: 
A description of this film is not available.


THE ISFAHAN OF SHAH ABBAS:
1976, 30 min,. 2", Color, U,G. 
This survey of the resplendent 17th century architectural achievements of Isfahan commissioned by Shah Abbas and his successors focuses on the monuments surrounding the Maydan-e-Shah: the mosque of Sheik Loftfallah, the Qaysariyyeh Bazaar, the Shah Mosque, and the Ali Qapu Palace, which together symbolize the political, economic and religious spheres of Safavid Persia. Prof. Oleg Grabar of the Fogg Art Museum provides scholarly narration for the viewing of monuments and close-ups of tilework, metalwork, paintings, ceramics, and weavings, and the calligraphy of Ali Reza Abbasi. He provides a useful historical, cultural and economic framework for this period tour of Isfahan. [Images & Echoes, Center Staff] Produced by the Fogg Fine Arts Museum.

ISLAM IN AMERICA:

1991, 52 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Conveniently divided into five parts for classroom use, this film provides an accurate, viewer-friendly survey of Islam, its beliefs, its cultural diversity and its role in today's America. It explores the five pillars in several American communities: "Faith" in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; "Prayer" in Los Angeles; "Charity" in Houston; "Fasting" in Quincy, Massachusetts; and "Pilgrimage" in suburban Boston and Perrysburg, Ohio. Interviews are well-chosen and representative, including women, men, and children as well as prison converts to Islam. Briefly touches on the differences between the universal religion of Islam and (American) Nation of Islam. [AGF] Directed by Lindsay Miller for The Christian Science Monitor. 

 

THE ISLAMIC CITY (World of Islam series):
1988, 30 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Astute and able narration marks this exploration of cities established under Islam and enduring as primarily Islamic centers. The film visits cities founded during several periods of Islamic rule by different ruling dynasties: Kairouan, Tunisia built as a frontier town during the first generation of Islam; Istanbul, Turkey established in the 15th century under the Ottomans; and so on, including cities in India, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt, Iran and Syria. Covers the variety of architectural styles and histories while explaining the unifying features of Islamic cities: the mosque and related buildings (especially schools), and a center's often inward-turning configurations. Brief and insightful treatment given to role of women in society as defined by the Qur'an and as adapted to 20th century lives. Only a few stumbles, such as labeling pre-Islamic Arabs "warrior tribes in search of wealth." [AGF]

 

JERUSALEM, THE HOLY CITY:
This four-part series examines the political history, Biblical history and architecture of the three great religions that regard Jerusalem as a holy city. A fair treatment of each with few biases, though it inexplicably chooses to accord Islam less coverage. Focuses more on political (i.e. who controlled the city) and Biblical history than does A Common Ground. [AGF] Directed by Alan Rosenthal for Boston University Productions.

Part I: A Collage of Sacred and Secular History: 
1987, 51 min., 2", Color, H,U. 
An overview of the three religions' history in and relationship with Jerusalem which highlights much of what is explained in detail in the other three films, this could be well-used as a more economic look at the three faiths in Jerusalem. Because it short shrifts Islam, however, this tape should be used with Jerusalem and the Muslim Tradition. [AGF] 

Part II: Jerusalem and the Jewish Tradition:
 
1987, 44 min., 2", Color, H,U. 
Focuses mainly on Biblical history with a large section on the archaeology of the City of David, and an overlong section on the water system. The problems of modern political history are elided (the film refers simply to "reclamation of Jerusalem for the Jewish people"). [AGF]

Part III: Jerusalem and the Christian Tradition:
1987, 44 min., 2", Color, H,U.
Again largely focuses on Biblical history. Exhaustive and well-filmed architectural details, visits to major churches of several branches, and a station-by-station walk along the Via Dolorosa. A very thorough overview of the branches of Christianity present in Jerusalem, the differences (even conflicts) among them, and their places and rights in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. [AGF]

Part IV: Jerusalem and the Muslim Tradition:
1987, 25 min., 2", Color, H,U.
An accurate, though comparatively short history of both Jerusalem's significance in Islam and in the history of Muslim Arab and Ottoman Turk empires. Thorough description and detailed footage of major monuments, mosques and the ruins of an early Arab palace complex built to serve pilgrims. Somewhat distracting is narrator (and BU Religion Professor) James Purvis's mispronunciation of Arabic words. [AGF]

JERUSALEM: OF HEAVEN AND EARTH "THE CENTER OF THE WORLD":
1983, 25 min., 2", Color, M,H.
A weak, unfocused work, this video borders on racism in its portrayal of Muslim Arabs in Jerusalem and does not add much otherwise to our general knowledge. While purporting to be about Jerusalem's central role in Judaism and Christianity, it begins with visits (led by a tourist guide) to several pilgrimage sites, then becomes a description of Israeli life in the city subtly (and unfavorably) compared with a very limited view of Arab life. No mention is made of the Jerusalem's central place in Islam. Use Jerusalem, The Holy City or A Common Ground instead. [AGF] Directed by John Jacob and Richard Tombelson for Nomad International Films. 

JERUSALEM: OF HEAVEN AND EARTH "CITY OF 100 GATES":
1983, 25 min., 2", Color, M,H.
A film exploring daily life, festivals and rituals in Mea Shearim (100 gates), a Hasidic community outside the Old City in Jerusalem. Notable for footage inside a home and schools of the community, many of whose inhabitants will not allow themselves to be photographed. Human details (a young boy's ritual haircut, men shopping for holiday plants and building an outdoor shelter for Sukkot) add to understanding of Hasidic community and Judaism in general. Not much historical or political information and somewhat scattershot in delivery, but a useful cultural document. [AGF] Directed by Jacob & Tombelson for Nomad International Films. 

THE JEWS OF DJERBA:
1977, 26 min., 2", Color, M,H,U. 
T hough dated and very conventional in its approach, this video contains some beautiful, lengthy footage of religious and secular life on the Tunisian island of Djerba, where Jews first arrived in the 6th century B.C. The video features many scenes of daily life, especially the activities of women, who are shown making bread, weaving and embroidering, sweeping yards clean, and preparing meals. Also includes footage of men reading from the Torah and performing other religious activities inside one of the oldest synagogues on the island. Gives an informative, brief history of Jews' presence there and the structure of the community. Drawbacks are misinformed generalizations ("Jews have been on Djerba for 25 centuries...life has changed little in all that time.") and the fact that while people do speak in the film, their words are not translated and they are not interviewed, which tends to make them objects of the narrator's observations rather than participants in the film's images. Directed by Alain Cohen & Georges Nizan for Jewish Media Service. 

 

JOURNAL FROM TEHRAN:
1987, 20 min., 2", Color, U,G.
This short documentary looks at Iran through the eyes of an exile returning after seven years abroad to a country under the enforcement of Islamic law and still fighting the Iran-Iraq war. Although leery of her reception, the filmmaker finds herself comfortable in familiar surroundings until she senses the constant threat of the Revolutionary Guards on the lookout for "improperly dressed women or punky males." The video is divided into four segments: introduction to Tehran; differences between northern and southern sections (Westernized vs. traditional cultural forces); celebration of Norooz (the Persian New Year); and religion and war. North Tehran, the former "European-style playground," is mainly deserted and South Tehran has become the bustling heart of the city, new seat of power and target of Iraqi missiles. Little details are telling: one scene shows women doffing chadors to reveal chic fashions at a mixed gathering to celebrate Norooz, the pre-Islamic spring festival of the new year which the government has declared un-Islamic. [EFB] Directed and produced by Perhseng Sadegh-Vaziri. 

THE KEY:
1986, 76 min., 2", Color, Farsi dialogue w/English subtitles.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

KHURASANI KURDISH DANCES:
n.d., 9 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
The Khurasani Kurds are a community of nearly 1.7 million people deported from western Kurdistan to Khurasan by Persia during the 16th to 18th centuries. Their exclave now straddles the Iran-Turkmenistan-Afghanistan border regions, spilling into all three countries. Having been effectively cut off from other Kurds geographically and historically, they have retained costumes and customs long dead in other Kurdish communities. For instance, the costumes and dances show in this film have an Anatolian, even East European flavor. The dances have been choreographed and staged, though not as much as this film might lead a viewer to assume; Khurasani Kurdish dances are orderly affairs on their own. Costumes are authentic, despite their neat, elaborate layering and ornamentation. [MI] Produced by the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Iran.

 


KIBBUTZ 2000:
1985, 30 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

THE KILLING OF SADAT: WHY WAS CAIRO CALM?:
1982, 60 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
This news program is a perceptive examination of Sadat's politics, economic policies and persona in Egypt up until his assassination in 1981, expertly compared with the hero-like portrayal of Sadat in the Western, specifically American press. Carefully traces the selective impact of Sadat's economic and political decisions, which created a wealthy entrepreneurial class replacing the old land-holding rich, but brought little change for the average person. Focuses also on reactions to alignment with the West and to peace accords with Israel; and on alienation of other Arab countries. Includes intelligent, informative interviews with Egyptian journalists, writers, former ministers and advisers to Sadat. Overall, an excellent introduction to conditions in Egypt in the '70s and '80s, with eerie echoes for today's political situation. [AGF] Directed by Ofra Bikel for WBGH TV (Boston). 

THE KIRGHIZ OF AFGHANISTAN:
1975, 30 min., 2", Color, H,U.
Cut off from the majority of their kinsmen living in China and the Soviet Union by closed borders, a group of 3,000 Kirghiz nomads has lived since the 1950s in isolation deep in the Afghan Pamirs. This film explores the economic, political and social power of one of their khans, Rahman Qul, who exercises total control over his herders and their families through a system called amanat, or "entrusting." The film captures the bitter reflections of a young herder in the amanat system, and focuses on the particularly difficult lives of Kirghiz women living on "the roof of the world." Superb photography, extraordinary sensitivity, and remarkable direction have created a haunting film. N.B.: Although the film does not indicate it, the group fled Pakistan in 1978 as a result of the Communist revolution; their exodus is part of another film, Afghan Exodus, available for viewing at NYU's Avery Fisher Center. [RDM] Directed by Thomas Howe w/Nazif Shahrani, anthropologist and consultant. 

KURTLAR VADISI IRAK (VALLEY OF THE WOLVES: IRAQ)
2006, 122 min., DVD, Color, Turkish, Arabic & English with Turkish, English, and German subtitles
Adopted from the popular Turkish television series of the same title, the film opens with a depiction of the US arrest of 11 Turkish special forces soldiers on July 4th, 2003 in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. One of the soldiers, Suleyman Aslan (Tayfun Eraslan), feels so humiliated that he takes his own life and his friend Polat Alemdar (Necati Sasmaz) vows to take revenge against the American commander (Billy Zane) who supervised the arrest. 

KUWAIT: A DREAM SUSPENDED:
1990, 30 min., 2", Color, M,H.
This well-photographed promotional film is valuable for its film clips from the 1940's and 1950's. The idealistic portrayal of modern Kuwait with an active parliament and freedom of the press is rather cloying. The final aerial panoramas form a background for a legend describing the Iraqi invasion in August 1990, and the ensuing devastation. [UNC] Produced by Michael McKinnon for Kufic Films. 

LA NOUBA DES FEMMES DU MONT-CHENOUA: 
1977, 115 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.

 


LAWRENCE OF ARABIA:
1962, 216 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1962, this epic commercial film recreates the exploits of famed British officer, T.E. Lawrence, who, assigned to Arabia during World War I, unites the warring Arab factions into a guerrilla front that endures both brilliant victories and eventual defeat against the Ottoman Empire. With Peter O'Toole as Lawrence, and starring Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn among a host of others. Directed by David Lean. Produced by Sam Spiegel.

LE LION DE DIEU:
mid 1970s, 50 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
For this video, professional actors from Tehran staged a carefully orchestrated performance of ta'ziyeh plays in the village of Natanz, Iran. The ta'ziyeh plays narrate and relive the martyrdom of 680 of Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad; they are enacted during the first 10 days of the Muslim month of Muharram. Though the performances did not take place during Muharram, and the sequence of plays does not follow the order usually established during this religious festival, this video does provide a valuable -- and rare -- documentary record of ta'ziyeh dramatic representations. Includes interviews with the actors, the oldest of whom has been performing the plays for 50 years. Directed by Jean Baronnet. 

LEILA: 
1997, 102 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.

LIFE & NOTHING MORE:
1992, 91 min., 2", Color, Farsi w/English subtitles.
This is the second film of the trilogy by Abbas Kiarostami (The other two are "Where is the Friend's Home?", and "Through the Olive Trees"). Set in Koker after the earthquake, this amazing film explores the power of life, and at the same time reflects upon the relationship between life and cinema. A film director and his son set off from Tehran, heading for Koker in order to look for Ahmad, the little actor of the first film, "Where is the Friend's Home?". Most of the film was shot through the car windows, a metaphor of the camera and the postion of the audience; the director with his son in their "secure" car, and we, the audience, in "safe" theaters are witnessing life. This style of shooting allows to underscore the voyeuristic aspect of cinema, and to question the meaning of filming life. Closer to a documentary, the film consists of scenes from the ruined villages and conversations with the survivors of the catastrophe. Through this very realistic composition, the film in a most impressive and touchy way suggests that life goes on despite everything. While scanning the site of the earthquake behind his camera, Kiarostami throws a humorous and compassionate glance at the attempts of human beings to make life goes on. In a scene, for example, he captures bitter-sweet rush of the people of a village completely turned into piles of stones as they try to set a TV antenna with the hope of watching Brazil-Argentina football match in the worldcup. Emphasizing the continuity of life, the film ends in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of life...

LINES IN THE SAND:
1990, 12 min., 2", Color, B&W, H,U,G.
Two themes run though this vivid and succinct film. The first is the discussion of the U.S.'s response to the Persian Gulf Crisis as a type of national therapy session, laying to rest the unquiet ghost of Vietnam. The second theme focuses on the shaping of Americans' perspective by media coverage -- especially television -- much of which was carefully sculpted by the Pentagon. The video not only evokes specific discussion of the media's role in the Gulf War, but demands further discussion of the part it plays in other global concerns -- Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia -- and all war-torn areas. [CNES] Directed by Laura J.E. Morini for Griffin-Wirth Associates.

LION OF THE DESERT:
1991, Part I: 91 min.; Part II: 68 min., 2", Color, H,U,G. Plus a documentary on the making of the film, 32 min. 
This historical feature about Umm Mukhtar and the 1930 resistance to Mussolini's occupation of Libya is one of the best films for a view from the indigenous side of the colonial project, although the English version uses Western actors to portray many Arab roles. Includes Anthony Quinn as Mukhtar, Rod Steiger as Mussolini and Irene Papas as Mabrouka. [CNES] Directed and produced by Moustapha Akkad.

LIVING IN PARADISE: 
1998, 105 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles. 
A description of this film is not available.

 


LIVING ISLAM: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MUSLIM IN TODAY'S WORLD:
1993, 50 min. each, 2", Color, H,U.
This series was created to answer the question posed in the title and to survey the confrontations of Islamic societies with the West. The on-site photography in Nigeria, Iran, Mali, Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Egypt constantly reinforces the fact that Islam is a global religion not limited to the Arab heartland. Host Akbar Ahmed, an anthropologist at Cambridge University, puts a disproportionate emphasis on his native Pakistan. The ethnographic vignettes in this ambitious series are of great value. It is up to the instructor, however, to provide explanatory details, to place stories in context, to expose bias. [UNC] Produced by BBC-TV.

Part I: Foundations Filmed in Egypt, Mali, France, England, Jordan, Israel and Iraq:
Part I examines the tenets of Islam in the context of the life of Muhammed, and the fashion in which Muslims around the world balance faith and everyday life. [UNC]

Part II: The Challenge of the Past:
Examines four major Muslim empires of the past -- Andalusian Spain, Ottoman Turkey, Mughal India and Safavid Persia -- and how religious confrontation shaped them. Also looks at a modern example of identity crisis: Pakistan as an Islamic state. [UNC] 

Part III: Struggling with Modernity:
This film examines the definition of the word "modernity" as a Western concept of technical prowess, and in Third World terms. Akbar reflects on the tensions within many Islamic states as governments seek to formulate legislation compatible with the spirit of Islam and the 21st century. [UNC]

Part IV: Paradise Lies at the Feet of the Mother:
First describes the ideal role of the Muslim woman and then explores issues of marriage, divorce, veiling, and gender roles in Egypt, Nigeria and Indonesia. [UNC]

Part V: Among the Non-Believers:
Examines the challenge to the 40% of Muslims who live in countries where they are a religious minority. Situations in India differ from those in Britain or in Central Asia. Addresses questions including whether Muslims suffer particular discrimination and whether conflict exists for them between loyalties to the global community of Islam and to one's own nation. [UNC]

Part VI: The Last Crusade:
The West sees Islam too often as a religion of terrorism and with no distinction between fundamentalism and activism. Yet from the Muslim point of view, it is the West that threatens and suppresses. This film concludes with the question of who is under attack and why. Visits Jerusalem, Cairo, Kadvna and Tehran. [UNC]

 

THE LIVING MARTYR: INSIDE THE HEZBOLLAH: 
2001, 53 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available

MARRIAGE, EGYPTIAN STYLE:
199, 50 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
A sensitively filmed documentary concerning the life of a middle-aged woman who lives in a lower class neighborhood in Cairo, and works as a domestic servant. Abandoned by her husband, she reveals with stinging wit her worries about an unmarried daughter and unemployed son and the problems the family faces. In tracing her attempts to find suitable marriage partners for her children, the film reveals much about the dynamics of gender relations and the realities of life for women of her social class. [TM] Directed by Joanna Head.

MEASURES OF DISTANCE: 
1988, 15 min., 2", Color 
A description of this film is not available.

MECCA, THE FORBIDDEN CITY:
circa 1960, 52 min., 2", Color, M,H,U,G.
This is vivid film of the pilgrimage to Mecca sets the hajj in its religious and social context, giving the historical background of Islam, and leading the viewer through the rituals step by step, not excluding many of the practical realities. Cinematography is spectacular, narration informative and sensitive, avoiding the digression into modernization so common in hajj films. Both the involvement of the individuals as individual in the ritual and the sense of Islamic community are implicit. Aspects of Shi'i Islam as well as Sunni are included and rituals for women and men described. A mildly limiting factor is the film's age, which can be remedied by supplementing it with the more recent Journey of a Lifetime. [Images and Echoes] Directed by Abd el-Ghasem Rezai for Iranfilm.

MEMOIRES D'IMMIGRES: 
A description of this film is not available.

 

MIDDLE EAST I 1900-1956: From the End of the Ottoman Empire to the Suez Crisis :
60 min., 2", Color, U,G.
French-made documentary tracing the international politics of the eastern Arab world, Turkey, and Iran. Emphasizes French role alongside Britain, and seldom portrays aspirations of the peoples of the region except through an Anglo-French optic. Excellent historical footage of major figures and events since the start of 20th century, but clips and narrative are too fast and disjointed for an uninformed viewer to follow easily. Several minor but confusing mistranslations of French commentary into English. [TM] Directed by Alain Ferrari. Historical adviser: Dominique Chevallier. 

MIDDLE EAST II 1956-1991: From the Suez Crisis to the Gulf War :
60 min., 2", Color, U,G.
The second half of this documentary continues in a similar vein, tracing events from Egypt to Afghanistan (including those of the PLO and the Palestinian people) in a chronological, newsreel style. Useful if students already have significant background knowledge. [AGF] Directed by Alain Ferrari. Historical advisor: Dominique Chevallier. 

 

MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY: EVANGELICALISM IN AMERICA
*Study guide available with video.
1992, 55 min. each, 2", Color, H,U.
There are between 50 and 80 million Evangelicals in America. The movement claims to be anchored in a 2,000-year-old tradition of orthodox Christianity. Yet in the U.S., Evangelicalism has many different faces and has shown an incredible capacity to diversify and adapt to changing needs and cultural conditions. Hosted by Randall Balmer, Tremaine Associate Professor of Religion at Columbia University, this three-part PBS series examines Evangelicalism at the grass roots level, uncovering its joys and concerns, its strengths and struggles, its basic motivations and visions of life. The series is based on Balmer's book of the same name. Produced by Gateway Films/Vision Video. 

MIRROR OF KINGS: TALES FROM KALILA WA DIMNA:
ca. 1970s, 12 min., 2", Color, M,H.
An adaptation of the traditional fables from India and Arabia designed to teach morals and princely behavior to rulers through stories enacted by animals. The animated film narrated by Omar Sharif is based on a 14th Century Mamluk manuscript and its delightful illustrations. [CNES] Smithsonian Institution.

MONGOL HORDES: STORM FROM THE EAST:
1993, 45 min. each, 2", Color, H,U,G.
Though generally very useful presentations, these titles suffer from one major flaw that should be addressed during classroom discussion. The narration implies that despite their technological advances, religious tolerance, and excellent administration, they were nonetheless "barbarians." Encouraging students to recognize this contradictory information may lead to a richer understanding of the Mongols, and of some of our more problematic assumptions about world history. [PM] Directed by Robert Marshall & Viviana Woodruff for NHK & BBC.

Part I: Birth of a Empire :
Part I of this made-for-television documentary begins with a look at modern Mongolia as it emerges from Soviet tutelage. A brief survey of Chingiz Khan's significance as a hero in popular Mongolian consciousness leads into discussion of the origins of his vast empire. The audience follows Chingiz Khan's conquests from Mongolia to Central Asia, Russia and China. The film explores the socioeconomic organization of the Mongols on the eve of Chingiz Khan's birth, his struggle for supremacy, unification of the Mongol tribes under his rule, and the rise of an empire through expansion into China and the territory of the Khwarazm Shah. [PM]

Part II: World Conquerors :
This installment encompasses two central themes: medieval Europe's view of the Mongols and the Mongol impact on central Muslim lands. Exemplified by the Crusades, the struggle between the Christian West and the Muslim world links these two foci and explains that European Christians initially conceived of the Mongols as co-religionists and allies because they too fought against the Muslims. Defeats in Poland and Hungary quickly convinced the West that one's enemy's enemy is not always one's friend. Explorations of medieval myths about the Mongols and how they changed over time offer food for discussion. The rest of the episode addresses the establishment of the Ilkhanate in the territory of modern-day Iran, the destruction of the Assassins, and the Mamluk victory at Ain Jalut. [PM] 

Part IV: The Last Khan of Khans: 
A description is not available 

 

MOROCCO: THE PAST AND PRESENT OF DJEMMA EL FNA: 1995, 18 min., 2", Color, M,H,U,G.
Marrakech's famous square, a historic crossroad of Arab and Berber cultures, has for years stirred the imagination of Westerners. This documentary captures the color, romance, and spiritual atmosphere that once drew the likes of Edith Wharton, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill. Montgomery shares what tourists see and experience when they come to the square C storytellers, musicians, acrobats, and snake charmers from across the region C and interviews performers about their tradition. The video provides many clever contrasts: for instance, a Moroccan guide discusses the square's history as a destination for caravans from the Sahara and its role as a center for the dissemination of ideas, while a local resident complains about the effects of tourism on the town's young people. [AGF] Directed by Stephen Montgomery.

THE MOTHER OF LIGHT AND HER DAUGHTERS: 
1993, 45 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.

THE MOUNTAIN [Al-Jabal]:
1991, 32 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
In this film, the course of true love is complicated by tradition, which decrees that decent young women submit to marriage arrangements made by the family. A young Palestinian woman from Galilee, Insaff, has been promised by her father to a successful lawyer, but she falls for a young farmer from Gaza. The Mountain is the story of the courage of young lovers to resist an arranged marriage and the courage of older women to stand against tradition. Although Insaff's grandmother lost a daughter who was shot while trying to elope, she encourages Insaff to cross the mountain and start a new life with the man she has chosen. Insaff's mother initially sides with her husband, but in the end joins the conspiracy with her mother-in-law and daughter. The film explores Palestinian life apart from the shadow of Israeli occupation and tells a poignant story of the bond between generations. The only issue that the film seems to neglect is religion: unlike the women of The Mountain, real life heroines who challenge tradition must also confront the relationship between freedom and faith. [KVJ] Directed by Hanna Elias.

MUHAMMAD, LEGACY OF A PROPHET: 
2002, 116 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available.

MUHSIN BEY:
1987, 123 min., 2", Color, In Turkish, U,G.
Funny, sad story of a man who is still very much of the past (honest, unpretentious, grows flowers, shy with ladies) and attempts to keep his dignity while trying to survive in fast-changing, money-minded, modern times. Interwoven is the clash between urban and rural cultures symbolized by the village singer who is looked down upon by the elite. Beautifully acted by Sener Sen as Muhsin Bey. [SY] Directed by Yavur Turgul.

NAMUSLU:
nd 120 min., PAL, Color, In Turkish, U,G.
Ali Riza Bey, an company accountant, is a hard-working, honest, and trustworthy man. Trying to survive on his meager income, he is ridiculed by family and friends because of his honesty. As he returns from the bank one day with a lot of cash, he is held up. Everyone thinks he stole the money but they pretend to believe his declarations of innocence. They are hoping to share in the riches, and no matter how hard he tries, Ali Riza Bey cannot convince them that he was robbed. Includes great slapstick episodes. [SY] Directed by Ertem Egilmez. 

 

NASSER 56:
1996, 140 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

THE NEED:
1991, 81 min., 2", Color, Farsi dialogue w/English subtitles.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

NEITHER ALLAH, NOR MASTER!
2011, 71 min., Color, Arabic/French w/English subtitles
Made at the height of the 2010-2011 revolutions in North Africa, Tunisian-Franco filmmaker Nadia El Fani takes a personal approach to this cinematic exploration of secularism in Tunisia before and after the deposition of dictator Ben Ali. Officially, Tunisia is not an Islamic nation. But over and over, El Fani meets Tunisians who mistakenly believe that it is illegal to serve alcohol to Arabs, break the fast during Ramadan, or practice a religion other than Islam. In these encounters, she sees troubling signs that Tunisia may be becoming less tolerant of non-Islamic beliefs. El Fani is casual and outspoken; she introduces viewers to Tunisians, including many women, in their own spaces - sprawled across a living room couch, gathered together on the steps of a building, enjoying a cup of coffee in the garden - and discovers just how much they have to lose.

NEW FRONTIERS: THE MIDDLE EAST FOLLOWING WWI (The Middle East series):
*Study guide available with video.
1985, 25 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U U. 
Perhaps the most useful installment of this 14-part series, this video focuses on one of the major historical sources of Middle East tension: the redrawing of the region's map following the World War I. The 19th century colonial encroachment in North Africa and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire become intelligible to all, supported by adroit use of film clips and photographs, as well as superior graphics. Explanation of the millet system and of religious as distinguished from territorial identity under the Ottoman Empire clarify the struggle to redefine identity in national terms within the new states emerging from Mandate status into independence. A few, small errors: Kurdistan bridges four rather than three countries, with northern Syria overlooked; nor does Kurdistan extend all the way to the Arabian Gulf. For the most part, though, New Frontiers is a brilliant film carrying out the promise of offering "understanding beyond the headlines." [EFB] Directed by Boiteau & Stansfield for TV Ontario and Mideast Productions. Narrated by Richard Bulliet. 

NIGHT OF THE JACKAL:
1989, 105 min., 2", Color, Arabic with English subtitles, U,G.
The film is set in the Syrian countryside just prior to the 1956 invasion of Egypt and follows the decline of a peasant farmer, Abu Kamel, as his vanity destroys his life and the lives of his family. Too caught up in his own concerns, he fails to notice the individual problems of the rest of his family as one by one they pass beyond the point where their honor and in some cases, their lives, can be saved. Within the framework of Syria's rich culture, Abdulhamid cuts to the heart of the human struggle shared by us all. Directed by Abdulatif Abdulhamid.

NOT WITHOUT MY VEIL: WOMEN IN OMAN:
1993, 30 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
The film opens with the conventional question of whether Islam is a challenge to the West or whether Muslims long to mirror Western life, employing the kind of exotic imagery whose stereotypes it will later try to dispel. It includes interviews with women of several ages and backgrounds (Bedouin woman, married and unmarried women, a bank president), who address issues of lifestyle, domestic situation, marriage and education, and ideals of beauty and self identity. The film benefits from the focus on various environments: at work and at home, in the city, the village and the desert. But although it includes quotes from the Qur'an, it does not address the personal relationship between religion and veiling, which is a factor for some women who wear hijab. And there are few scenes of men and women interacting, which is more a part of daily life than the film would have us believe. [AGF] Produced by Mia Grondahl.

 

ODYSSEY: DADI'S FAMILY:
1981, 60 min., 3/4", Color, M,H,U.
A portrait of a woman's life, aspirations, and constraints she experiences as a member of a Hindu family in a rural, agricultural setting in northwest India. 

THE OIL KINGDOM SERIES:
1984, 60 min. each, 2", 3/4", Color, H,U.
This series on Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman is hosted by journalist Jo Franklin-Trout using on-site interviews. Her goal is to demythologize this area for Americans, offering insight into contemporary social life as well as politics and plans for the future. But there is confusion, at times, about exactly where she is! [UNC] Produced by PBS/Pacific. 

Part I: Kings and Pirates:
The historical background of "commerce, colonialism and culture" of the Gulf States -- from Portuguese conquest through British hegemony --leads to discussion of the discovery of oil and the impact of the petrodollars on the modernization process. [UNC] 

Part II: The Petrodollar Coast:
Franklin-Trout visits Oman, a nation described as "medieval" in 1970, but now miraculously modernized. Interviews in the United Arab Emirates address the role of women and issues concerning foreign workers. [UNC]

Part III: A Sea of Conflict:
This video documents the volatility of the smaller Arab Gulf States, their vulnerability as international pawns, and their sensitivity to local Arab religious and political pressures. [UNC].

ON BOYS, GIRLS AND THE VEIL:
1995, 73 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
This beautifully filmed piece examines veiling in the context of Egyptian society, rather than as an isolated religious phenomenon, as so many films have. Focusing on Bassem, a teacher and aspiring actor; and his family, neighbors and friends, this film unfolds a gentle narrative on the social and cultural factors that contribute to women's decisions to veil. Through Bassem, we see social interaction between young men and women uninhibited by hijab; and watch his veiled friends engage in animated discussions over whether veiling protects them from harassment; whether it is an obligation; and whether it signals their virtue or their religious beliefs. Throughout we get a sense of the secular (and less so, religious) dimensions of their decisions: how peer pressure, male-female relations, and societal expectations play determining roles. [AGF] Directed by Yousry Nasrallah.

 

ON THE EDGE OF PEACE:
1994, 104 min., 2", Color, Arabic, Hebrew w/English subtitles, U,G.
Video cameras were given to Israelis and Palestinians so that they could document aspects of their daily lives in Israel and the Occupied Territories during the transitional period from the signing of the September, 1993 Oslo Accords to the beginnings of Palestinian self-rule in May 1994. Diarists filmed during a period including the massacre of Arabs at Hebron; the bombing of an Israeli bus at Afula; the release and return of Palestinian prisoners; and the beginning of self-rule in Jericho. The diarists are an older Israeli whose son was killed during the invasion of Lebanon; a West Jerusalem high school senior on the verge of entering the army; an Israeli girls' school teacher living in a West Bank settlement; three Palestinian boys involved in the Fatah youth movement; a family whose Jericho home was destroyed and son jailed after he joined the intifada; and a family in a West Bank refugee camp that has lost several male members through deportation and dispersal. [AGF] Directed by Ilan Ziv. Produced by Daoud Kuttab, Amit Breuer and Ziv. 

ORIGINS AND EVIDENCE (Crossroads of Civilization series):

1978, 58 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Exploring a crucial stage in the evolution of civilization, this program profiles Cyrus and Darius, and examines the role of each in the development of the Persian empire. While piecing together this story, the film illustrates why the Iranian plateau became crucial in geographical, political and historical terms. Narrated by David Frost.

THE OTHER HALF OF ALLAH'S SKY:
1998, 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

PAINTED BRIDE: HENNA ART AMONG PAKISTANI WOMEN IN NEW YORK CITY:
1990, 24 min., 2", Color, Some Urdu & Hindu w/English subtitles, M,H,U.
Shenaz Hooda, a Pakistani henna artist living in Queens, guides us in this exploration of the Islamic art of henna decoration practiced on special occasions, most notably weddings. As she applies lacelike designs of henna paste, Hooda discusses the history of the tradition and the purpose of the mehendi, the pre-wedding ceremony where the bride, female relatives, and friends gather to have hands and feet decorated, sing teasing songs about the groom and in-laws, and generally distract the bride during her last days before marriage. Hooda describes her own courtship and marriage, and we witness her mehendi. She also discusses how she has adjusted customs and skills (her daytime job is supervising a drugstore cosmetics department) to America while retaining the values and culture of her home country and community. An accompanying booklet gives excellent supplementary information on the mehendi and words to many of the teasing songs. Directed by Susan Slyomovics & Amanda Dargan. 

 

PALESTINE: STORY OF A LAND:
Part I: 1880 - 1950
1993, 60 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Beginning with the earliest mass migration of European Jews to Palestine, this video guides viewers through the persecution of European Jews and development of the Zionist ideal, the early view of Palestine as "a land without people for a people without land", and post-WW II events leading to the founding of Israel. Explores with a critical eye the gradual displacement of the native population, their disadvantageous position in world politics, and illustrates how resistance to colonialism (beginning with the British mandate) was at the root of Arab resistance to a Jewish state. Valuable especially for 19th century photographs of Palestine and early footage shot by the Lumières and by a local Jewish filmmaker that reveal much about the way in which Palestine was viewed on the world stage and by Jewish immigrants. [AGF] Directed by Simone Bitton. 

PALESTINE: STORY OF A LAND:
Part II: 1950- 1991

1993, 60 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Covering the period from the founding of Israel to the Madrid peace conference, the second installment introduces key figures - Arafat, Begin, Nasser, Rabin, Sadat, Shamir, and others - and traces their roles and the evolution of conflict between the Israelis, Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries. Close attention paid to Israeli government, Arab countries, and PLO stances over time grounds events in a political and historical context, and illustrates the range of attitudes among leaders. Video deals with terrorist acts, political strategies, and peace offers as they were acted out by Israelis and Palestinians. Note: Brief footage of bombings and torture are quite graphic. [AGF] Directed by Simone Bitton.

 

PALESTINIAN COSTUMES AND EMBROIDERY, A PRECIOUS LEGACY:
1990, 35 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
An updated and condensed version of the original (below) that provides more useful narration on when and how everyday and ceremonial clothing was worn, traces where patterns originated, and examines the cross-pollination of styles between Europe and the Middle East. Showcases late nineteenth and early twentieth century bridal and everyday wear in characteristic patterns and materials from five regions: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Jaffa, Northern Palestine/Syria, Majdal (coastal area), and Gaza and the southern deserts. An excellent overview with a fine eye for detail. [AGF] Produced by Farah & Hanan Munayyer.

PALESTINIAN NATIONAL COSTUMES: PRESERVING THE LEGACY:
1980s, 70 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
A presentation of a unique collection of traditional Palestinian bridal and ceremonial costumes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, modeled to the beat of Arabic music. The film includes over 30 complete costumes from all parts of Palestine. The first half, featuring models, is useful for seeing how the dresses and headdresses were worn together and the distinctive styles of each region; while the second half includes close-ups of various stitches, patterns and accessories. Useful, if spare narration on the characteristics and history of the clothing and jewelry. [AGF] 

PALMS AND POMEGRANATES: TRADITIONAL DRESS OF SAUDI ARABIA:
1987, 12 min., 2", Color, M.
A marginally useful promotional piece, this video focuses only briefly on the clothing mentioned in the title. After an encyclopedia-like overview of Saudi Arabia's topography, geography, major cities and industries, the video stresses preservation efforts as applied to archaeological sites, wildlife, folk arts, dance, music, desert sports and traditional clothing. [AGF] Produced and directed by Christopher C. Hayes for the U.S. Committee for Saudi Arabian Cultural Heritage.

PEARLS ON THE OCEAN FLOOR
2007, 77 min., Color, English & Persian w/English subtitles
Robert Adanto's Pearls on the Ocean Floor is a thought-provoking documentary examining the lives of Iranian female artists living and working in and outside the Islamic Republic. Featuring interviews with art luminaries Shadi Ghadirian, Shirin Neshat, and Parastou Forouhar, the film captures the uncertainty of this momentous time in Iran's history.

THE PEDDLER:
1986, 95 min., 2", Color, Persian dialogue w/English subtitles.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

PEOPLES OF ISLAM:
1982, 24 min., 2", Color, H,U.
This film complements The Gift of Islam with its discussion of the ways of life and societies of Muslims throughout the Middle East. Assuming some familiarity with the basic tenets of Islam, it focuses on the task of "fusing a new way of life with an enduring heritage." Shown are Muslims in Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia, representing tolerance of diversity and adaptability to change, together with the universality of the teachings of Islam. The multiformity of practices superimposed on the unity of belief is well documented in vignettes sampling the geographic panorama of the Islamic world: a Yoruba Qur'anic lesson in Lagos; a fete for a returning hajji in West Java, etc. Women's roles are subtly interwoven. This advocatory film does concentrate mainly on urban areas, and does not take up questions posed in the wake of Iran's experience; however, its value lies in its introduction of Muslims and the practice of Islam in a contemporary world. [EFB] Written and directed by Stuart Day.

 

THE PRAYERS OF THE WARLORD 
52 min. 
A peculiar title for an interesting and somewhat counter-intuitive film. The film focuses on a man named Mamour Hasan who is the "warlord" of the town of Dasht-i Qal'ah in northern Afghanistan. The film was made after the downfall of the Taliban and the establishment of the Transitional Interim Government of Hamid Karzai. The filmmakers treat their subject with great sympathy and show a remarkably credible view of daily life - how market space is controlled and taxed, how the truly destitute are taken care of, and how water - the essence of life in the region - is managed (the depiction of the role of the mirab bashi and his own observations about himself and his father are quire striking), the importance of weapons for local security, and even the intimate details of polygamous marriages. The film does fall back on the old film cliché of showing a Muslim at prayer and never quite says what the prayers of the "warlord" are. But otherwise an excellent and deeper film than one is accustomed to seeing.

PRICE OF CHANGE (Reformers and Revolutionaries series):
*Study Guide available with video.
1982, 26 min., 2", Color, Some Arabic with English . subtitles, H,U.
This detailed video examines women's adjustments to changes brought about by overpopulation and economic forces since WWII. The movie focuses on two issues, population control and women working outside the home, as major adjustments being handled by women. Fernea again goes to the source, women themselves, and avoids officials except those directly involved in work or health projects. The segment on birth control, however, feels a little promotional, visiting a village clinic that has established a 30% contraceptive use rate, many times higher than the average rate in rural areas. While stressing the role of local women in setting up such clinics, the film does not address religious and societal/cultural values that may be in conflict with, and some cases, challenged by these decisions. Segment on the workplace is better, acknowledging class differences involved in finding jobs and emphasizing that work outside the home doesn=t necessarily represent "liberation." The study guide is useful, though more outdated than others in this series because of the subject matter. [AGF] Directed by Marilyn Gaunt. Produced by Elizabeth Fernea. 

THE PRIZE: QUEST FOR OIL:
1992, 60 min. each, 2", Color, H,U,G.
This eight-part series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Daniel Yergin. Directed by William Cran. Narrated by Donald Sutherland.

Part I: Our Plan:
Traces rapid rise of the world's biggest business, and how John D. Rockefeller, through Standard Oil, controlled the U.S. share. Follows reporter Ida Tarbell's muckraking expose of Rockefeller. 

Part II: Empires of Oil:
How Shell Oil and Royal Dutch merged, then challenged Standard Oil. Examines how oil industry transformed everyday life in many corners of the globe, made Russia a great oil power, and helped the Allies win World War I. 

Part III: The Black Giant:
The American oil industry wrestles with shortage ad surplus in the 1920s, as flamboyant entrepreneur Calouste Bulbenkian stakes his claim in Iraq. 

Part IV: War and Oil:
Oil's role in World War WII, especially its critical impact on decisive military events.

Part V: Crude Diplomacy:
Post-WWII America awakens to the strategic importance of oil, and witnesses a key moment in history when oil production shifts from the U.S. to the Middle East. Paints a portrait of how oil shaped world economy and politics. 

Part VI: Power to the Producers:
In the heyday of cheap oil and during the flourishing of a prosperous new automobile society for Americans, the independent oil companies challenge the Seven Sisters and open a new era in the world oil industry. 

Part VII: The Tinderbox:
A view of the rise of the OPEC era, beginning with British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf and ending with the burning oil wells of Kuwait in 1991.

Part VIII: The New Order of Oil:
The Gulf War marked the beginning of a new era; this program explores the relation of oil and environmental conscience, and the technological race to balance energy, economic and ecological needs in the Information Age. 

 


Q - Z

THE PUPPETEER [Al-Aragouz]:

1989, 117 mins. (two parts; one tape), 2", Color, U,G.
This film addresses the dilemma confronting a new generation: honor versus opportunism. Egypt's dilemma is mirrored in this tale of the fool who wisely serves the cause of justice, and a son consumed by greed. Bahloul, the son of an idealistic puppeteer who tells him tales of Aragouz, a character in traditional puppet shows who stands against injustice; grows into a different sort of man than his father. He leaves his village for Cairo University and discovers a new world where a clever young man can grab a good life. Bahloul returns home rich, ruthless and willing to exploit the residents of his village for financial gain. Ultimately, Aragouz will step forward to challenge this new-generation opportunist. Though the film is a fine and timely work about choices in the lives of nations and individuals, viewers should keep in mind that it contains a studio executive's vision of the countryside. Stars Omar Sharif as the impoverished puppeteer. [KVJ] Directed by Hani Lachine.

THE QUEEN AND I
2009, 90 min., Color, English/Swedish/Persian w/ English subtitles
30 Years after filmmaker Nahid Persson Sarvestani participated in the revolution to overthrow the Shah and Monarchy regime in Iran, she finds herself still fascinated by the former queen whose fairytale life had intrigued her as a child. Disillusioned by the Islamic revolution that betrayed her trust and forced her into exile, Persson Sarvestani turns the focus of her new film to an unlikely subject: Farah Diba, the Shah's wife. In the process of filming the antagonist of her revolutionary past for almost two years, Persson Sarvestani and her former enemy encounter frequent confrontations and revelations that evolve into an unforeseen journey of two women in exile, who have more in common than either of them could envision. 

THE RAMAYAN:
1980s, 60 min. each, 2", Color, Hindi w/English subtitles, M,H,U,G.
Parts 1, 2, 25, 26.
This video in 26 parts dramatizes the famous Indian epic of the trials of the king Rama and his beloved wife, Sita. Robbed of his heirship to the throne of Ayodhya, Rama is banished to the forest accompanied by his brother Laksmana and Sita. Rama continually undergoes hardships to test his virtue and righteousness according to the Hindu ideal of dharma. His final task is rescuing Sita from the demon king Ravana, who has hidden her in his castle in faraway Lanka. Aided by an army of monkeys, Rama rescues Sita and destroys Ravana. He returns to Ayodhya victorious and assumes his rightful place as king with his queen. This dramatization gained wide popularity when it was serialized on Indian television, bringing daily activity to a virtual standstill. Parts 1, 2, 25 and 26 represent the beginning and end of this epic saga. [KGZ] Directed and produced by Ramanand Sagar. 

 


REEL BAD ARABS: HOW HOLLYWOOD VILIFIES A PEOPLE
2006, 50 min, DVD, Color
Reel Bad Arabs takes a devastating tour of the American cinematic landscape, moving from the earliest days of silent film to today's biggest Hollywood blockbusters to reveal an astonishing and persistent pattern of slanderous Arab stereotyping. Featuring acclaimed author and Hollywood film consultant Dr. Jack Shaheen, the documentary exposes American cinema's long love affair with Arab villainy and buffoonery, from over-sexed Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and bloody-thirsty terrorists. Along the way, the film provides striking insights into the origin of these images, their disturbing similarities to anti-Semitic and racists stereotypes from the past, and their political resonance during key moments of conflict in U.S. history. In the end, Shaheen inspires us to think critically about the destructive social and political effects of Hollywood's projection of Arabs, challenging us to envision counter-narratives that do justice to both the diversity and humanity of Arab people, and the reality and richness of Arab history and culture.

AL-RISALAH (THE MESSAGE):
1991, Part I: 96 min.; Part II: 76 min., 2", Color In Arabic, U,G.
This Arabic language version of The Message is a portrait of the early days of Muhammad's message. As in the English language version, the Prophet is not shown. Early Mecca and Medina are depicted imaginatively: the idols in and around the Ka'ba are surrounded by mountainous deserts along with the flourishing plantations of Yathrib, which later became Medina, the city of the Prophet. The film tells a more detailed story than the English version, and is aimed at an audience familiar with Muhammad's early life and the early life of Islam. It concentrates on military history, vividly showing the major battles of Badr, Uhud, and the final victory in Mecca. It does not convey a cultural understanding of the early Islamic milieu, focusing more on the social and political injustices of pre-Islamic Arabia. Arabic spoken in the film is excellent; the movie is strongly recommended for students of the language because of its use of Qur'anic Arabic in daily speech. [CNES] Directed by Moustapha Akkad.

RIVERS OF FIRE:
1990, 40 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
This video is a competent presentation highlighting the volatile Middle East conflict over the natural resource more valuable than oil: water. The film examines dilemmas within countries as well as between them: Turkey's newest dam system can control waters from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowing to Syria and Iraq, which lack adequate storage facilities for the reservoir-filling process; Jordan is a "fresh-water pauper" already surviving on aqueous overdraft, though a Syrian-Jordanian project for water storage threatens Israel; and Israel's interest in the Golan Heights is as much related to control of the headwaters of the Jordan River as to fear of military strikes. With excellent maps, careful statistics, blunt interviews with politicians, commentaries from concerned citizens and good photographic coverage of the various areas. [EFB] Directed by Paul Woolrich and produced by Marshall Healey for Channel 4/BBC. 

 

THE ROAD TO WAR IN THE PERSIAN GULF:
1992, 24 min., 2", Color, H,U.
This documentary begins with the period just after World War I, when Britain and France divided the Middle East between themselves. The film discusses how the oil resources of Iraq and Kuwait have shaped their history, and traces U.S. involvement in the region, beginning with the Iran-Iraq war and ending with the U.S. led offensive against Iraq that began on January 17th, 1991. The video features interviews with two experts on the Middle East with sharply different views: C. Max Kortepeter of New York University and Peter A. Rodman of Johns Hopkins University. It includes archival footage from ABC News and Independent Television, as well as video footage shot in Iraqi cities during and after the allied bombing. [CNES] Directed and produced by Frank Beck for American School Publishers.

RUNAWAY: 
2001, 87 min., 2", Color 
A description of this film is not available.

THE RUNNER:
1985, 75 min., 2", Color, Persian w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
This film presents a portrait of southern Iran after the Iranian Revolution through the eyes of six adolescents. "The Runner ranks with those classics of childhood, Shoeshine, Los Olividados, The 400 Blows, and Pixote," said Judy Stone of the San Francisco Chronicle. Directed by Amir Naderi.

SADDAM'S KILLING FIELDS:
1993, 55 min., 2", Color, U,G.
This three-part PBS series on Saddam's wars against the Shi'a Muslims and Kurds of Iraq is a graphic and well-researched discussion of the murderous situation there during and after the war in the Persian Gulf. The series has three parts: the first focuses on the Shi'a in southern Iraq who, encouraged by the U.S., rebelled against Saddam during the war and were consequently massacred in large numbers. Part II traces the development and success of Saddam's plan to eliminate Shi'a and tribal Arabs living in southern Iraq by draining and poisoning the marshes. It also discusses the 1988 Anfal campaign against the Kurds and more recent plans to use chemical weapons against them. Part III focuses on the breadth of human rights violations in Iraq, and includes interviews with the director of the Centre for Human Rights in Iraq, which has documented thousands of deaths by Saddam's forces and collected evidence of the leader's continuing plans to kill minorities he considers enemies. [AGF] Directed by Michael Wood for PBS. 

SAINTS AND SPIRITS:
*Study Guide available with video.
1979, 24 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
The relationship of the individual to the supernatural through a mediating influence is an aspect of Islam familiar to many Muslims, but largely ignored by orthodox literature and films. With a fine eye for human detail, this video explores such personal dimensions through three events in Morocco: in Marrakech, a fortuneteller's annual renewal of contact with a benevolent spirit in a ritual including animal sacrifice and ecstatic dance; the annual pilgrimage to a saint's shrine in a Berber village in the Atlas mountains; and in a village north of Marrakech, veneration of a new saint's shrine. Fernea's excellent study guide provides a map, glossary and suggested classroom discussion topics. Also contains background information about practices in the film, which is recommended pre-screening reading for teachers and is also appropriate as a handout for university-level students. [AGF] Directed and produced by Davies and Elizabeth Fernea, Granada TV.

 

SAUDI ARABIA:
1982, 60 min. each, 2", 3/4", Color, H,U.
A trilogy of hour-long TV specials produced by anchorwoman Jo Franklin-Trout lapses into the very stereotypes it boasts of debunking: showing desert and no fertile land, using an incorrect definition of jihad, and relying on the exotic and primitive to describe life. [UNC] Directed by Jo Franklin-Trout. Produced by PBS. 

Part I: The Kingdom provides excellent photography with plenty of hype. A reasonably accurate historical overview uses old film clips well in an aloof but not unsympathetic fashion, but Islam is relegated to the background rather than recognized as playing an essential role. [UNC] 

Part II: The Race With Time
 focuses on the extraordinary tempo of modernization and the problems arising from it. A series of interviews provide discussion of reactions and attitudes towards these changes, although the role of the family and the individual within the family is not sufficiently explored. [UNC] 

Part III: Oil, Money and Politics
 intends to deal with Saudi Arabia's position as an emerging world power, but concentrates primarily on Saudi-American relationships, rather than placing the country's position in a global context. The film avoids grappling with issues in depth, particularly that of Islam. The series of lengthy interviews contain some factual errors but overall, provide an accurate picture of Saudi importance and involvement in the world of the 1980s. [UNC] 

SAUDI ARABIA TODAY:
1981, 29 min., 16 mm, Color, H,U.
This survey of rapid change in Saudi Arabia emphasizes twin themes of economic and social development in the context of preserving traditional culture and values. Low-keyed, accurate, in general sympathetic but not propagandistic, the film has two weaknesses: a lack of scenes of human relationships -- family life, daily activities -- and accented narration that may be difficult for some ears to understand. [UNC] Produced by Exxon. 

SAUDI ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE: A TREASURE TO REDISCOVER:
1970's, 18 min., 2", Color, U,G.
This well-organized presentation on Saudi architecture uses slides with diagrams superimposed. Four geographical regions are defined. Each of the regions is shown to have one model predominate: in the north, the patio; in the south, the Yemeni tower; in the east, Mesopotamian structures; in the west, the Turko-Egyptian balconies. Only in the center Nejd area is the architecture completely autonomous. The color of the slides is not always the best; the musical soundtrack should be studiously ignored. The information, however, on architectural analysis and interpretations of use of space and light is valuable and flexible for classroom usage. The geographical diversity of the Arabian peninsula is also well demonstrated. [CNES] Directed by Ziad Ahmed Zaidan for the Idea Center.

THE SECRETS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS:
1991, 60 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
This thorough program examines the politics and scholarly history of the discovery, collection, and ensuing publication of the seven Dead Sea Scrolls first unearthed in 1946 in the caves of Qumran. Contains a detailed look at the contents of the texts along with the complicated -- and controversial -- history of who has controlled their translation and publication. Incorporates interviews with major scholars (including Hebrew & Judaic Studies Professor Lawrence Schiffman of NYU) and figures of the editing team, and presents early and revised theories on the authors of the texts, including archaeological evidence regarding the Essenes, who were originally believed to have written the texts. A fairly scholarly introduction. [AGF] A Nova program produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit.

 

THE SILENCES OF THE PALACE:
1996, 127 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

THE SILK ROAD: 
1990, 55 min., 2", Color. 
I: WHERE HORSES FLY LIKE THE WIND 
II: TWO ROADS TO THE PAMIRS 
III: JOURNEY INTO MUSIC - SOUTH THROUGH THE TIAN SHAN MOUNTAINS 
IV: THROUGH THE TIAN SHAN BY MOUNTAINS BY RAIL 
V: KHOTAN-OASIS OF SILK AND JADE 
VI: GLORIES OF ANCIENT CHANG-AN 
VII: A HEAT WAVE CALLED TURFAN 
VIII: A THOUSAND KILOMETERS BEYOND THE YELLOW RIVER 
IX: IN THE GALLERY OF THE DESERT 
X: THE DARK CASTLE 
XI: ACROSS THE TAKLAMAKAN DESERT 
XII: IN SEARCH OF THE KINGDOM OF LOU-LAN 
A description of this film series is not available.

SINAN: UNTIL ETERNITY:
1988, 180 min., 2", Color, U,G.
The daunting 180 minutes of art history is fortunately broken into six 30-minute episodes, available on two cassettes of three episodes each. Modern footage is used extensively and comfortably, interwoven with miniatures, paintings and artifacts of the 16th century. This is a broad-gauge, leisurely stroll through Ottoman history with detailed commentary and footage of many of the nearly 500 buildings and bridges designed by Sinan, chief architect to four sultans. Viewers unfamiliar with Ottoman history and geography will have difficulty coping with the names of the towns, rivers and rulers as well as the names of particular buildings. Maps are sparse. Parts I, II, and III (on the first cassette) trace Sinan's beginnings as an architect, his move to Istanbul, his rise as an architect and his promotion to chief architect to Suleyman the Magnificent. Includes all of his works leading to and including the Suleymaniye Mosque Complex. Parts IV, V, VI (on the second cassette) continue with the life of Sinan and include the building of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne and his other great architectural achievements. [UNC] Directed by Suha Arin. Produced by MTV.

SIR ALFRED OF CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT: 
29 min. 
A description of this film is not available.

SONG OF UMM DALAILA: THE STORY OF THE SAHRAWIS:
1993, 30min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

SOUVENIRS OF ISTANBUL (UNDER TURKEY'S SKIES) TÜRKIYE:
c. 1970, 60 min., 2", Color, H,U.
This compilation of three films about Turkey includes Souvenirs of Istanbul, a 15-minute film concerning the history and geography of Istanbul; Under Turkey's Skies, a 20-minute film focusing on life in different Turkish cities; and Türkiye, kaleidoscopic impressions of old and new Turkey, with music by Francis Lai, approximately 16 minutes long. The last film is an art film designed to give impressions without a sense of historical chronology. [CNES] Directed by Claude Lelouch.

 

THE STAKES OF ISLAM: THE PERILOUS VALLEY OF CENTRAL ASIA: 
52 min. 
A description of this film is not available.

A STATE OF DANGER:
1989, 28 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Shot in Israel and the Occupied Territories, this documentary examines primarily the role of Palestinian and Israeli women (and their organized groups) in working for peace and justice in the region. The film visits scenes that rarely made the U.S. news: an Israeli woman collecting information about the imprisonment and torture of Palestinian children for the Women's Organization for Political Prisoners, and a nurse in an Arab hospital describing the types of rubber bullet wounds she sees on children. Also includes the better known groups, Women in Black and Peace Now, who both demonstrate for peace. Film illustrates the (minority) efforts among Israelis in supporting moves toward peace long before the 1993 Oslo accords, and the active work of Palestinians, who, unlike their Israeli counterparts, are frequently arrested for their efforts. Note: The film contains graphic descriptions of wounds/beatings that may not be suitable for all young audiences. [AGF] Directed by Haim Bresheeth & Jenny Morgan for Ctr. for Freedom of Expression of Palestinians and Israelis.

STORIES OF HONOR AND SHAME:
1996, 58 min,. 2", Color, Some Arabic w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
This series of intimate interviews with Palestinian women living in the Gaza Strip conveys the loneliness and poignancy of lives twice constricted. With dignity and sadness, they describe their own patriarchal society, speaking of abductions into marriage at the age of 12, dreams of education and careers ruined by annual pregnancies, of a husband shared by several wives, one of them a self-described feminist. But they also connect the Israeli occupation of nearly 30 years with an increased vigilance over them by men, of prior freedoms curtailed after women's concerns were backgrounded by the struggle against the Israelis. [AFG] Directed by Antonia Caccia. 

THE STORY OF OIL: CHIEF ECONOMIC RESOURCE OF THE MIDDLE EAST (The Middle East series):
1985, 25 min., 2", Color, M,H.
This informative survey of the role of oil in the Middle East is a thorough introduction that aims to correct many misperceptions (pricing conspiracies and rich, greedy oil sheiks) that reached their height in the early '80s when this film was made. Though overtaken by later events, this video still stands as an excellent overview of oil's role and impact, from Noah caulking his ark with local pitch to the huge oil consumption of the 70s and peaking prices of the 1980s. Closely and evenhandedly examines the role of Western nations in developing the means to tap oil, along with their imperialist control of the profits until the early 70s. Also points out the challenges to oil-rich nations, including their responsibilities to their oil-poor brethren. Includes useful geological facts, such as why the peninsula countries hold so much oil and why it is easier to tap there than in other parts of the world. An accurate, simple explanation presented in historical context. [AGF] Directed by Denise Boitteau & David Stansfield. Narrated by Richard Bulliet. 

 


THE STRUGGLE FOR PEACE: ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS: 
1991, 57 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Filmed by a crew made up of Israelis, Palestinians and Americans, this video examines the efforts of several grassroots organizations C Israeli and Palestinian C in bringing about a peaceful settlement in the region, especially since the intifada began in 1987. This film is particularly valuable for its history of the intifada as related by its participants, including the essential, non-violent dimensions that led to merchants refusing to pay taxes, and those who sought economic independence by starting agricultural cooperatives and backyard farming. Includes footage of meetings between an Israeli-Palestinian group before and after the Gulf War; and introduces Women in Black and an organization of Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories. [AGF] Directed by Steven Talley. Produced by Elizabeth Fernea. 

SÜLEYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT:
1987, 57 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Serious scholarship is popularized, but never trivialized in this companion video to the exhibition of the same name shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the 16th century, the brilliant and powerful Sultan Süleyman became the first Ottoman emperor to assert himself in European politics. His learned and elegant Islamic court in Constantinople spread its art and laws across three continents. Much of that art was in the form of manuscript illumination, intricately painted pages of the life and military campaigns of Süleyman. In a subtle way, the film reveals a continuity between Süleyman's culture and that of present-day Istanbul. [The New York Times] Directed by Suzanne Sauman for the Metropolitan Museum and the National Gallery of Art. 

SUSPENDED DREAMS: DEVELOPING STORIES I: ENVIRONMENT & DEVELOPMENT: 
1992, 49 min., 2", Color Arabic w/English subtitles, U,G.
This video opens with two men talking across a Beirut street where they used to exchange gunfire. Extraordinary moments like these characterize the documentary, which focuses on the two friends -- a Muslim and a Christian -- along with a woman inspired to activism by her husband's death in the war, and an actor. By exploring their lives and life histories, the video examines the effects of 16 years of civil war on the physical mental, and cultural environments of a once-vibrant city, and efforts of reconstruction. Beautiful soundtrack with music by Jihad Racy, Simon Shaheen, and others. This is a fine film, but not an introductory one; it is recommended for classes that have some knowledge of the history of the Lebanese civil war and the ongoing conflict with Israel. [AGF] Directed by Mai Masri and Jean Chamoun. 

A SUSPENDED LIFE: 
1984, 90 min., 2", Color. 
A description of this film is not available. 

SYRIA: THE ASSADS' TWILIGHT: 
2011, 52 min., Color. 
This film recounts the history of the Assad regime and the region - including the troubled history of Syrian involvement in Lebanon. The film uses archival footage, as well as the testimony and analysis of members of the US and Israeli security establishment, key politicians, dissidents (among them members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood) and political scientists. What emerges is a picture of a regime that has been at the centre of Middle East politics for two generations - but is now on the verge of being swept away, along with other corrupt dictatorships in the region. 

TAHRIR: LIBERATION SQUARE:
2011, 90 min., Color
Soon after the first reports came about the occupation of Tahrir Square, filmmaker Stefano Savona headed for Cairo, where he stayed, amidst the ever-growing masses in the Square, for weeks. His film introduces us to young Egyptians such as Elsayed, Noha and Ahmed, spending all day and night talking, shouting, singing, finally expressing everything they were forbidden to say out loud until now. Together with thousands of other Egyptian citizens, they have been invovled in a massive movement of street protest for political freedom. By the end of the first week of urban guerrilla and brutal state reprisal it has become nothing less than a revolution to overcome Mubarak's regime. Day after day, sleepless night after sleepless night, until the capitulation of the defeated pharaoh, the film follows these young and unexpected heroes along their fierce fight to win their liberty. From Facebook likes to battles in the streets, TAHRIR is the real-time chronicle of the two most exciting weeks in the history of modern Egypt as lived by its protagonists. 

TAKVA: A MAN'S FEAR OF GOD
2006, 96 min., Color, Turkish w/ Engilsh subtitles.
Muharrem (Erkan Can) lives a solitary existence, strictly adhering to the most severe Islamic doctrines. To his surprise, a religious leader hires him as a rent collector, where he is given Western-style suits, a cell phone and a car with a driver. Thrown suddenly into the modern world, the naive Muharrem is exposed to temptations and hypocrisies, causing his fear of God to eat away at his senses, and threaten his sanity.

TALES FROM ARAB DETROIT:
1995, 45 min., 2", Color, Some Arabic w/English subtitles, M,H,U,G.
This cultural excursion into the Arab-American communities of Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan is led by visiting Egyptian storytellers performing a 1,000-year-old oral epic for audiences who may not even speak Arabic. Wanting to transmit such cultural traditions and values to their U.S.-born and educated children is part of the landscape negotiated by immigrant communities in this film. Listening to the experiences of immigrants, their sons, and their daughters emphasizes the common stresses of cultural assimilation and preservation, struggle to establish an identity, and changes in intergenerational relationships. It is also fascinating to see how cultural experiences have been adapted and expressed in the work of second-generation artists whom we meet: a poet, a rapper, a painter, and a hip-hop artist. A good starting point for discussing cultural heritage and its place in American society. [AGF] Directed by Joan Mandell.

TALES FROM A BOOK OF KINGS:
1973, 26 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
Tales from (Firdowsi's) Shahnameh, the mythic epic of Iran, are recounted by examining pages from the Houghton collection, considered the finest example of all the Persian book-of-kings manuscripts. Close-ups of the brilliant miniatures illustrating the Shahnameh focus on details of flowers, animals, and crafts as well as the timeless stories of princes and princesses, evil and good. Though the photography is fine and musical support well chosen -- musical instruments in the miniatures are at times coordinated with music of the soundtrack -- the film gives fairly brief historical and political context for the epic and its creation. Students could profit by some background preparation in the art and techniques of miniature painting and historical outlines of the period and characters illustrated in the Shahnameh. [AGF] Produced for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

TAQWACORE: THE BIRTH OF PUNK ISLAM
2009, 82 min., DVD, Color, English, Punjabi, Arabic, Urdu with English subtitles
Taqwacore chornicles the nascent Muslim punk rock movement in America. It was inspired by the work of Michael Knight, who converted to Islam in rebellion against his white-supremacist father. He went on to pen the novel The Taqwacores (a term combining the Muslim concept of God consciousness with hardcore punk), a manifesto for disillusioned Islamic teens. Soon young Muslim musicians were contacting him and a tour idea was hatched. The film follows Knight and a variety of young subversives on tour as they shock and awe spectators in the U.S. before bringing their music to Lahore. They break every taboo along the way, from staging a lesbian thrash act at an Islamic convention to stomping on the American flag. As Knight exclaims, they're giving the finger to both sides. Taqwacore charts their brave, foolish, and often exhilarating attempts to navigate the gap between their cultures and their countries, their religion and their individuality.

TESTIMONIES:
1993, 56 min., 2", Color, Hebrew w/English subtitles, U,G.
This grim and disturbing film deals with the role and reactions of male Israeli soldiers serving in the Occupied Territories during the intifada. Interviews Israeli soldiers who helped crush the intifada using various forms of violence, focusing less on what was done to Palestinians than on how those who committed such acts felt about what they did. A major issue in the film is how some soldiers reacted to an unofficial policy of breaking arms and legs to halt stone-throwing by Palestinians. Included are scenes of soldiers using clubs and rocks to break Palestinians' limbs, and later discussing how they felt about their actions. Video has since been used in Israeli army training to encourage discussions about when it is morally imperative to question orders. Note: Contains several brutal and graphic scenes; should not be screened without discussion. [AGF] Directed by Ido Selea. 

THIS IS NOT BEIRUT:
A description of this is film is not yet available. 

TOPKAPI PALACE:
Twenty-four of the thirty-six sultans of the Ottoman Dynasty ruled the empire from the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul for a period of 400 years. The royal residence became a museum after the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, and opened its doors to a film crew for the first time 1990. This seven-part series explores the treasures and history of the palace. Directed by Suha Arin for MTV-Istanbul. 

Part I: General Outlines:
1991, 25 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Offers viewers general information about the history, customs, and ceremonies of the palace; parts of the buildings and their functions; and additions commissioned by some of the Sultans who ascended the throne. 

Part V: The Sacred Relics:
1991, 21 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Focuses on a collection of sacred objects set up by Yazuz Sultan Selim in the first half of the 16th century, which is now considered one of the world's richest collections of sacred relics in terms of quantity, quality and state preservation. Among the items are the robe of the Prophet Mohammed, a letter written by him on antelope skin, one of his teeth, and locks of his beard. Also included are the gold and silver keys of the Kaaba at Mecca. 

Part VI: The Treasury:
1991 , 22 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Describes the three treasuries and their functions within the Ottoman state, and acquaints viewers with examples of gold, silver and copper coinage of the Ottoman period. Includes a detailed view of many priceless items exhibited in the royal treasury, such as thrones encrusted with precious stones, swords, the famous "Topkapi Dagger" with its three enormous emeralds, and the 86-carat "Spoonmaker's Diamond."

 

TORCHBEARERS: BRIDGING THE DARK AGES (The Middle East series):
1985, 25 min., 2", Color, M,H,U.
Addresses the flourishing of Islamic civilization, which was quite knowledgeable in sciences, humanities and art while Europe wallowed in isolation. Shows how Islamic culture absorbed, then synthesized the intellectual heritage of the Jews, Romans, Greeks, Persians, Indians and Chinese, transmuting all into a culture that would later be taken over by Europe as a basis for its Renaissance. Some sweeping generalizations may give pause (Were early Muslims really "simple Bedouins from the desert?" Did European scholars really flock to Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, where resources were all neatly transcribed into Arabic?) But much is useful, and the unique Arab dimension is never lost in sequences representing the Islamic heritage to the West: architecture, math astronomy, alchemy, chess, and the like. [EFB] Directed by Denise Boitteau & David Stansfield. Narrated by Richard Bulliet.

TORN LIVING:
1993, 22 min., 2", Color, U,G.
This amalgamation of Palestinian women's narratives personalizes the experiences of those who were forced to leave Palestine when it became Israel in 1948. The Palestinian female narrator (the director) becomes the portrayed in the film, which is a series of personal reflections on the experience of being in exile, beginning with a forced and hasty departure from home at a very young age. Using UNRWA photographs and footage shot by Palestinians, paintings, and poetry, the narrator tells the story of "the Palestinian woman" who grew up in a refugee camp In Lebanon, married at a young age, was left alone for a few years when her husband emigrated to the U.S., and then settled there with her husband as the rest of the family dispersed elsewhere around the globe. Highly personal while describing a people's universal experience. [AGF] Directed by Alia Arasoughly. 

TUNISIA, YEAR ZERO:
2011, 52 min., Color.
On January 14th, 2011, the people of Tunisia took to the streets in mass protest and toppled the government of Ben Ali. Following the revolution, Tunisians make the radical choice to draft a new state constitution. Following events day by day, TUNISIA, YEAR ZERO tells the story of a difficult birth: that of the first democracy in the Arab world. In six months, no less than 110 political parties were created. In this political turmoil, a few of them emerge: the Islamist party Ennahdha seduces those disappointed with the revolution. Some other modernist parties, such as Ettakatol and the PDP, are divided on the content of their policies as well as on strategy. Leading the polls, Ennahdha emerge from the elections with more than 90 seats out of 217. How could these results be predicted? TUNISIA, YEAR ZERO examines the reasons for the outcome of the elections.

TURKISH TRADITIONAL ART TODAY:
1991, 42 min., 2", Color, M,H,U,G.
From the urban bustle of Istanbul to the mountain village of Ahmetler, the filmmakers take us on a vivid tour of streets, shops, countrysides, and marketplaces where a variety of Turkish products are created and sold. Throughout, the audience is made aware of the sights (flowers, produce, vegetables and fruit, mosques, minarets), sounds (music, call to prayer five times daily) and daily activities (men gathered for tea, people washing at public fountains before prayer) that surround and influence the craftsmen. The video is narrated only by daytime sounds and occasional music; brief or no translations are provided for the few interviews that occur. Rather, the focus is on the craftsmen themselves: potters at the wheel and painters decorating the fired plates and urns; young boys weaving blankets; women at the loom; the calligrapher writing; blacksmiths shaping a red-hot piece or iron into a scythe; and so on, with a sharp eye for detail. Practical and decorative uses are illustrated: we later watch villagers using scythes to harvest hay. Students will learn from this at a variety of levels, though younger viewers may balk at the lack of narrative. Those learning Turkish will appreciate the untranslated dialogue spoken by people from different regions of the country. [AGF] Directed by Henry Glassie & Tom McCarthy for the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of New Mexico. 

TURKIYE: 4 MILLION MORNINGS VHS, Produced by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism

 

UNCLE SADDAM
2003, 63 min., VHS, Color
Uncle Saddam is a satirical yet sobering look inside the world of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Award-winning filmmaker Joel Soler, who is still under U.S. government protection, risked life and limb to shoot and smuggle this strange and captivating footage out of Iraq. Featuring narration written by Scott Thompson of the Kids in the Hall and the voice of Wallace Langham ("The Larry Sanders Show") the film has the feel of an episodes of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" spotlighting, as is often the case, one of the world's most hated men.

THE UNPROMISED LAND [ha-Eretz ha-Lo Movtahat]:
1992, 48 min., 2", Color, Hebrew w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
In 1912, a group of Yemeni Jews followed their spiritual leader to the Sea of Galilee, where they cultivated the land. In 1914, the land was given to a group of Ashkenazi pioneers, now celebrated as the founders of Kibbutz Kinneret. Challenging the official Euro-Israeli narrative, this film gives voice to the Yemenis and their descendants, who mourn their loss and confront those who have erased their presence from history. [LA] Directed by Ayelet Heller. 

UP TO THE SOUTH:
1993, 60 min., 2", Color, Arabic w/English subtitles, U,G.
This documentary examines consequences of and forms of resistance to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon as well as how such issues are (mis)represented in the West. The film is a close examination of ideas and figures that have become tied to the region: terrorism, colonialism, occupation, resistance, collaboration and experts/leaders. Subjects interviewed -- including residents and members of formal resistance movements -- discuss the relationship between economic and social issues: the relationship between occupier and occupied, how and whether to resist, and their feelings about the land. Intertwined in the documentary is a self-consciousness of how even this "product" (film) is manufactured in terms of the authors' own representations. [AGF] Directed by Jayce Salloum & Walid Ra'ad. 

THE VEIL AND THE REPUBLIC (Women of Islam series):
1995, 52 min., 2", Color, Some Arabic w/French subtitles , H,U,G.
This video presents problems young Muslim women face in adapting to French society, addressing religious, cultural and social issues. Examines too how they negotiate between the expectations of parents, Muslim and non-Muslim schoolmates and friends, and society in general. Directed by Yamina Benguigi. 

A VEILED REVOLUTION (Reformers and Revolutionaries series):
*Study guide available with video.
1982, 26 min., 2", Color, Some Arabic w/Eng. subtitles, H,U,G. This video is an excellent vehicle to help Western audiences see beyond stereotyped notions about women and veiling in the Middle East, and is especially useful in light of recent developments in Egypt. The film interviews Egyptian women who have chosen and not chosen "lawful dress," and illustrates different interpretations and types of covering among women who wear it. Film examines both the realities and misperceptions of this tradition, correctly describing it as a newer, adapted mode of dressing, rather than "a return to the veil." Women interviewed come from many walks of life -- some in the workplace, some not -- and include others who don't wear the veil. Fernea again provides a useful study guide with good background information for the instructor. [AGF] Directed by Marilyn Gaunt. Produced by Elizabeth Fernea. 

WALL
2003, 97 min., Color, Arabic & Hebrew w/English subtitles
Simone Bitton etches a haunting portrait of one of the most profound geographical markers of our time - the wall of separation constructed by Israel that shields it from adjacent, conflicted Palestinian territories. With masterful restraint, Bitton both abstracts her subjects and extracts its key contradiction as a strangulating protector of life. With interviews from people living on both sides, and with a sharp and knowing camera, this absorbing documentary, in an exceptionally evenhanded manner, shows how the Wall is destroying one of the most historically significant landscapes in the world, while imprisoning one people and enclosing the other.

WATER WARS: STRUGGLE IN THE HOLY LAND, PART OF A THREE PART SERIES:
1998, 26 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available.

WEST BEIRUT: 
1999 
A description of this film is not available.

 


WHERE IS THE FRIENDS HOME:
1989, 90 min., 2", Color, Farsi dialogue w/English subtitles.
This is the first film of the trilogy by the master of Iranian cinema, Abbas Kiarostami ( the other two are called, "Life and Nothing More" and "Through the Olive Trees" ). Set in a village near Koker, this film is a story of Ahmad's epic quest - a boy at the threshold of adolescence who is about to bid farewell to innocent childhood and to discover that life is full of unanswered questions. The opening scene unfolds the tragic cause of Ahmad's quest : the teacher scolds Ahmad's classmate Nematzadeh, because ha has done his homework again on a sheet of paper instead of in his notebook; it is a matter of discipline, if it happens again, the teacher will dismisss Nematzadeh from school. Going back home, Ahmad finds Nematzadeh's notebook in his own bag. He starts desparately to look for the friend's home, out of breath along the zigzag road, and this search itself becomes a metaphor for life. Just as describes in a poem addressed to a boy written by an Iranian poet Sohrab Sepehri, which has inspired Kiarostami to shoot this film, Ahmad goes "...till the end of that valley leading to adolescence...", and "... stops at the fountain which sprinkles the myths of the earth". Through Kiarostami's masterful, documentary-like photographs and simple but impressive narrative, the film provides a penetrating look at the Iranian countryside and rural social relations, while exploring a universal theme.

WHY THE HATE? AMERICA, FROM A MUSLIM POINT OF VIEW: 
2001, 44 min. 
A description of this film is not available.

WILD FLOWERS: WOMEN OF SOUTH LEBANON:
1986, 70 min,. 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available.

WITH US OR AGAINST US: Afghans in America: 
27 min. 
The film explores the reaction of the Afghan community in Fremont, California, of September 11, 2001, and the aftermath of the American attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan. The film emphasizes the age-old dilemma of first and second-generation immigrants in terms of their attachments to the former homeland. The film was made in the interval after the formation of the Karzai government when there was considerable optimism in the émigré Afghan community about the future of their country. The women interviewed in the film are particularly impressive. [RDM]

WOMEN LIKE US: 
2002, 60 min., Color. 
A description of this film is not available.

WOMEN UNDER SIEGE (Reformers and Revolutionaries series):
*Study guide available with video.
1982, 26 min., 2", Color, H,U,G.
This film examines the lives of women in the former Palestinian refugee camp of Rashadiyah in southern Lebanon. The women have many domestic responsibilities but their overriding concern is their status as refugees and their need to be constantly on guard against attack by Israeli forces only a few miles to the south. (Rashadiyah was, in fact, one of the first camps attacked in the summer of 1982, when it was reduced to an uninhabited rubble heap.) Apparently, since Rashadiyah is an armed camp, traditional social patterns have changed so that women and girls have more freedom (and responsibility) outside the home than they might have had in a traditional Muslim village. Moreover, the Palestinian cause permeates every activity. [CFA] Directed by Marilyn Gaunt; Produced by Elizabeth Fernea. 

WORDS & DEEDS: AFGHANISTAN 8:
1980, 20 min., 2", Color.
A description of this film is not yet available. 

YOL:
1982, 115 min., 2", Color, Turkish w/English subtitles, H,U,G.
A 1982 Cannes award-winning feature by the late Yilmaz Guney, this is an epic drama about five prisoners in one of Turkey's "open" jails -- prisoners who receive one week passes to visit their families in eastern Turkey. Each prisoner represents a strong political and ethnic statement, portraying Turkey itself as the prison, oppressing not only by political tyranny, but through people's superstition and bigotry. Societal details are rich; views of the countryside are magnificent. [UNC] Directed and written by Yilmaz Guney.

YOOM ILAK, YOOM ALEIK - JERUSALEM, 1948: 
1998, 45 min. 
A description of this film is not available.

YOUNG AND INVISIBLE: AFRICAN DOMESTIC WORKERS IN YEMEN
2007, 36 min, DVD, Color, Arabic, Amharic, Somali, & English w/ English subtitles
While employment of migrant domestic workers in the oil-producing countries of the Arabian Peninsula is well-known, few people know that also in a poor country like Yemen mainly migrant women are employed as domestics. Why is there a demand for paid domestic labour in Yemen and who fills this demand? Deeqa came as a refugee from Somalia, leaving her four children behind; Ethiopian Hiwot joined her sister who was already working in Yemen; and Helen, who is of mixed Ethiopian/Eritrean descent, came via an illegal recruitment agent. They share the type of work, but have different stories to tell...

 



KEY TO REVIEWERS:


[AF] = Ahmed Ferhadi, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Literature, New York University 
[AGF] = Alison G. Feldman, Former Associate Director/Outreach Coordinator, Center for Near Eastern Studies, NYU 
[CEH] = Christine E. Hayes, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton *
[CFA] = Charlotte F. Albright, Outreach Coordinator, Middle East Center, University of Washington 
[CNES] = Staff and advanced graduate students at the Center for Near Eastern Studies, NYU 
[EDB] = Elizabeth Davis Barlow, Outreach Coordinator, University of Michigan *
[EFB] = Ellen Fairbanks Bodman, filmographer for Middle East Outreach Council & Middle East Studies Association 
[Images and Echoes] = The World of Islam, Images and Echoes: A Critical Guide to Films and Recordings, ed. Ellen Fairbanks Bodman (American Council of Learned Societies, New York, 1980). 
[KGZ] = Kenneth G. Zysk, Professor of Religious Studies, NYU
[KVJ] = Kathryn V. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
[LA] = Livia Alexander, curator, 1996 & 1997 Kevorkian Center Film Festivals 
[MC] = Miriam Cooke, Professor of Asian & African Languages and Literature, Duke University 
[MI] = Mehrdad Izady, author, The Kurds: A Concise Handbook 
[MM] = Mary Martin, Outreach Coordinator, Middle East Center, University of Pennsylvania 
[MG] = Michael Gilsenan, chairman, Department of Middle Eastern Studies; and David B. Kriser Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Anthropology, NYU 
[PM] = Paul Michaels, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [RDM] = Robert D. McChesney, Acting Director, Kevorkian Center, AY 1996-97; Professor of Central Asian & Iranian History, NYU 
[SY] = Sevine Yegulalp, Turkish Language Instructor, Kevorkian Center, NYU 
[TM] = Timothy Mitchell, Director, Kevorkian Center, 1998-99; Professor of Politics, NYU 
[UNC] = Middle East and Islamic World Filmography, ed. Ellen Fairbanks Bodman & Ronald L. Bartholomew, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992. 
[ZG] = Zehra Gulbahar, Graduate Assistant, Hagop Kevorkian Center, NYU 

*Reviews excerpted from the Middle East Studies Association Bulletin.

For more information on other available films and video, please contact the Hagop Kevorkian video library.



INDEX BY GEOGRAPHY


REGIONS, NATIONS & PEOPLES 
Middle East-General
Arabs and the West
Camera d'Arabe - The Young Arab Cinema
Changing Lives: Women of the Middle East
Crusades (4 parts)
The Five Pillars of Islam
Forces of Change: Women Artists in the Arab World
The Gift of Islam
The Islamic City
Islam: A Pictorial Essay in Four Parts
Islamic Science and Technology
Introduction to the Arab World
Living Islam (6 parts)
Middle East: 1900-1956
Middle East: 1956-1991 
Mongol Hordes: Storm from the East
New Frontiers: The Middle East Following World War II
Peoples of Islam
Quest for Change: Civil Society in the Middle East
Rivers of Fire
The Story of Oil: Chief Economic Resource of the Middle East
Torchbearers: Bridging the Dark Ages
Women and Islam 


Afghanistan
The Kirghiz of Afghanistan 
Afghanistan: Captives of the Warlords 
The Prayers of the Warlord 


Algeria
Battle of Algiers 


Egypt
Celebrating the Prophet in the Remembrance of God: Sufi Dhikr in Egypt
Changing Lives: Women of the Middle East
The Cities of Islam: Cairo
Egypt: The Habit of Civilization
For Those Who Sail to Heaven
The Gods of Our Fathers
I Miss the Sun
The Killing of Sadat: Why Was Cairo Calm?
Marriage, Egyptian Style
On Boys, Girls and the Veil
Price of Change
The Puppeteer
A Veiled Revolution 

 

Europe
The Conquest of Spain
The Veil and the Republic (France) 


India

Being Muslim in India
I am a Sufi, I am a Muslim
Mirror of Kings: Tales from Kalila wa Dimna
Odyssey: Dadi's Family
The Ramayan (Parts 1,2,25,26) 


Iran / Persia
Between the Lines
The Cow 
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life
Interview with Hashemi Rafsanjani
Iran: Past, Present & Future
Iranian Journey
The Isfahan of Shah Abbas
Journal from Tehran 
Le Lion de Dieu
Living Islam: The Challenge of the Past (Part II)
Origins and Evidence
The Prize: The Quest for Oil (8 parts)
The Runner
Tales from a Book of Kings 


Iraq
Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm
Hidden Wars of Desert Storm
Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization
Iraq: Sanctions and Suffering
Iraq Then and Now: The Unheard Voices of Iraqi Women
Lines in the Sand
The Prize: The Quest for Oil (8 parts)
The Road to War in the Persian Gulf
Saddam's Killing Fields 


Israel
Altalena
119 Bullets + Three
A Common Ground...Where Three Religions Come Together
Golan Heights: Fact and Fiction
Gospel Truth
Hamsin
Jerusalem, the Holy City (4 parts)
Jerusalem: Of Heaven & Earth (2 parts)
On the Edge of Peace
The Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls
A State of Danger
The Struggle for Peace: Israelis and Palestinians
Testimonies
Up to the South

 


Kurdistan/Kurds
Dreaming a Nation: The Kurds
Khurasani Kurdish Dances
Saddam's Killing Fields 


Kuwait
Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm, The Complete Story
Kuwait: A Dream Suspended
Lines in the Sand 
The Prize: Quest for Oil (8 parts)
The Road to War in the Persian Gulf 


Lebanon
Beirut to Bosnia: Muslims and the West
Chatila
Children of Shatila
Frontiers of Dreams and Fears
The Living Martyr: Inside the Hezbollah
Up to the South
Suspended Dreams
Women Under Siege 


Libya
Lion of the Desert 


Morocco 
Ben Barka: The Moroccan Equation
Boujad: A Nest in the Heat
The Cities of Islam: Fez 
Embroidered Canticles
Morocco: The Past and Present of Djemma el Fna
A Door to the Sky
Saints and Spirits 


Ottoman Empire
Ayasofia
Book of Festivities (Surnameh of Murad III)
Lawrence of Arabia
Sinan: Until Eternity
Süleyman the Magnificent
Topkapi Palace
I: General Outlines
V: The Sacred Relics
VI: The Treasury 

 


Pakistan
I am a Sufi, I am a Muslim 


Palestine/Palestinians
Bethlehem Diary
Citizen Bishara
Close, Closed, Closure
A Dream of Justice and Peace with Hanan Ashrawi
The Dupes
500 Dunam on the Moon
Hamsin
Intezaar
Introduction to the End of An Argument
The Mountain
On the Edge of Peace
Palestine: Story of a Land 
Part I: 1880-1950
Part II: 1950-1993 
Palestinian Costumes and Embroidery
Palestinian National Costumes
The Road to Peace: Israelis and Palestinians
A State of Danger
Stories of Honor and Shame
The Struggle for Peace: Israelis and Palestinians
Testimonies
Torn Living
Women Under Siege 


Saudi Arabia/Arabian Peninsula [see also: Kuwait]
ARAMCO at Fifty 
Cities of Salt
The Gift of Islam
Journey of a Lifetime
Lawrence of Arabia
Living Islam: Foundations
Mecca, The Forbidden City
Mirror of Kings: Tales from Kalila wa Dimna
Not Without My Veil: Women of Oman
The Oil Kingdom Series (3 parts)
Palms & Pomegranates: Traditional Dress of Saudi Arabia
The Prize: The Quest for Oil (8 parts)
Al-Risalah
Saudi Arabia (3 parts)
Saudi Arabia Today
Saudi Architectural Heritage
The Story of Oil: Chief Economic Resource of the Middle East

 



Syria
Golan Heights: Fact and Fiction
Night of the Jackal 


Tunisia
The Jews of Djerba 


Turkey [see also: Ottoman Empire]
The Cities of Islam: Istanbul
Dances of God
The Harem Project: An Islamic Arts Experience
The Horse
I am a Sufi, I am a Muslim
Muhsin Bey
Namuslu
Souvenirs of Istanbul/Under Turkey's Skies/Türkiye
Turkish Traditional Art Today
Yol 


United States
Arabs in America
But You Speak Such Good English
Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm, The Complete Story
I Miss the Sun
Islam in America
Lines in the Sand
Painted Bride: Henna Art Among Pakistani Women in NYC
The Prize: Quest for Oil (8 parts)
The Road to War in the Persian Gulf
Tales from Arab Detroit 
Why the Hate? America, from a Muslim Point of View
With us or Against us: Afghans in America 

 

 

INDEX BY SUBJECT

RELIGION

Buddhism
Principles and Practices of Zen

Christianity
A Common Ground...Where Three Religions Come Together
Crusades (4 parts)
The Disputation
Gospel Truth: Testament-The Bible and History
Jerusalem, the Holy City: Jerusalem & the Christian Tradition
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Evangelism in America

Hinduism
Odyssey: Dadi's Family

Islam
Arabs and the West
Being Muslim in India
Celebrating the Prophet in the Remembrance of God: Sufi Dhikr in Egypt
Cities of Islam: Cairo
Cities of Islam: Fez
Cities of Islam: Istanbul
A Common Ground...Where Three Religions Come Together
Dances of God
The Five Pillars of Islam
For Those Who Sail to Heaven
The Gift of Islam
I am a Sufi, I am a Muslim
Introduction to the Arab World
Islam in America
The Islamic City
Jerusalem, the Holy City: Jerusalem & the Muslim Tradition
Le Lion de Dieu
Living Islam: What it Means to be a Muslim in Today's World
I: Foundations
II: The Challenge of the Past
III: Struggling with Modernity
IV: Paradise Lies at the Feet of the Mother
V: Among the Non-Believers
VI: The Last Crusade 
Mecca, The Forbidden City
Muhammad, Legacy of a Prophet
Peoples of Islam
Saints and Spirits

 

Judaism
A Common Ground...Where Three Religions Come Together
The Disputation
I Miss the Sun
Jerusalem, the Holy City: Jerusalem & the Jewish Tradition
Jerusalem, Of Heaven and Earth: The Center of the World
Jerusalem: Of Heaven & Earth: City of 100 Gates
The Jews of Djerba
The Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls


POLITICS & ECONOMICS

Revolution/Transformation/Development
Altalena
Arabs and the West
119 Bullets + Three
Dreaming a Nation: The Kurds
Interview with Hashemi Rafsanjani
Journal from Tehran
The Killing of Sadat: Why Was Cairo Calm?
Saddam's Killing Fields
Saudi Arabia Today

Immigration/Diaspora
Arabs in America
I Miss the Sun
Living in Paradise
Memoires d'Immigres
Painted Bride: Henna Art Among Pakistani Women in NYC
Tales from Arab Detroit
The Veil and the Republic

Natural Resources
ARAMCO at Fifty
Cities of Salt
The Oil Kingdom Series:
    I. Kings and Pirates
    II. The Petrodollar Coast
    III. A Sea of Conflict
The Prize: Quest for Oil (8 parts)
Rivers of Fire
Saudi Arabia: Oil, Money and Politics
The Story of Oil: Chief Economic Resource of the Middle East

 



HISTORY 

Cities of Islam: Cairo
Cities of Islam: Fez
Cities of Islam: Istanbul
The Conquest of Spain
Crusades (4 parts)
Dreaming a Nation: The Kurds
Egypt: The Habit of Civilization
The Gods of our Fathers
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life
Introduction to the Arab World
Iran: Past, Present, Future
Iraq: Cradle of Civilization
The Islamic City
Jerusalem, the Holy City: A Collage of Sacred and Secular History
The Kirghiz of Afghanistan
Kuwait: A Dream Suspended
Living Islam II: The Challenge of the Past
Middle East 1900-1956: From the End of the Empire to the Suez Crisis
Middle East 1956-1991: From the Suez Crisis to the Gulf War
Mongol Hordes: Storm from the East
    I. Birth of a Nation
    III. Tartar Crusaders
Morocco: The Past and Present of Djemma el Fna
New Frontiers: The Middle East Following WWI
Origins and Evidence
Palestine: Story of a Land 
    Part I: 1880-1950
    Part II: 1950-1993 
The Road to War in the Persian Gulf
Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom
Saudi Arabia: The Race with Time
Sinan: Until Eternity
Souvenirs of Istanbul/Under Turkey's Skies/Türkiye
Torchbearers: Bridging the Dark Ages


MODERN CONFLICT

Arab-Israeli Conflict
Golan Heights: Fact and Fiction
Middle East 1900-1956: From the End of the Ottoman Empire to the Suez Crisis
Middle East 1956-1991: From the Suez Crisis to the Gulf War
Palestine: Story of a Land 
    Part I: 1880-1950
    Part II: 1950-1993 
Suspended Dreams
Up to the South

Gulf War
Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm, The Complete Story
Lines in the Sand
Middle East 1956-1991: From the Suez Crisis to the Gulf War
The Road to War in the Persian Gulf

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
A Dream of Justice and Peace with Hanan Ashrawi
Intezaar
On the Edge of Peace
Palestine: Story of a Land 
    Part I: 1880-1950
    Part II: 1950-1993 
A State of Danger
The Struggle for Peace: Israelis and Palestinians
Testimonies
Torn Living
Women Under Siege

 



CULTURE & SOCIETY

Art & Architecture
Art and the Islamic World
Ayasophia
Circle within the Square
Forces of Change: Women Artists of the Arab World
The Gift of Islam
The Harem Project: An Islamic Arts Experience
The Isfahan of Shah Abbas
Saudi Architectural Heritage
Sinan: Until Eternity
Spain: the Moorish Influence
Süleyman the Magnificent
Topkapi
    I: General Outlines
    V: The Sacred Relics
    VI: The Treasury
Torchbearers: Bridging the Dark Ages

Cinema/Craft/Dance/Literature/Music
Book of Festivities (Surnameh of Murad III)
Camera d'Arabe
Cities of Salt
Embroidered Canticles
Khurasani Kurdish Dances
Mirror of Kings: Tales from Kalila wa Dimna
Morocco: The Past and Present of Djemma el Fna
Painted Bride: Henna Art Among Pakistani Women in NYC
Palestinian Costumes and Embroidery
Palestinian National Costumes
Palm & Pomegranates: Traditional Dress of Saudi Arabia
Spain: The Moorish Influence
Tales from Arab Detroit
Tales from a Book of Kings
Turkish Traditional Art Today

Media
Between the Lines
Interview with Hashemi Rafsanjani
Introduction to the End of an Argument
Lines in the Sand
The Killing of Sadat: Why Was Cairo Calm?

 

WOMEN'S LIVES
Being Muslim in India
Changing Lives: Women of the Middle East
A Dream of Justice and Peace with Hanan Ashrawi
Forces of Change: Women Artists of the Arab World
The Gods of our Fathers
The Jews of Djerba
The Khirgiz of Afghanistan
Living Islam IV: Paradise Lies at the Feet of the Mother
Marriage, Egyptian Style
Not Without My Veil: Women in Oman
La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua
Odyssey: Dadi's Family
On Boys, Girls and the Veil
Painted Bride: Henna Art Among Pakistani Women in NYC
Price of Change

A State of Danger
Suspended Dreams
Stories of Honor and Shame
The Veil and the Republic
A Veiled Revolution
Women Under Siege


FEATURE FILMS

Battle of Algiers - Algeria
The Cow - Iran
A Door to the Sky - Morocco
The Dupes - Iraq, Palestine
Hamsin - Israel
The Horse - Turkey
Lawrence of Arabia - Saudi Arabia
Lion of the Desert - Libya
Mirror of Kings - India, Arabia
The Mountain - Palestine
Muhsin Bey - Turkey
Namuslu - Turkey
Night of the Jackal - Syria
The Puppeteer - Egypt
The Ramayan (Parts 1,2,25,26) - India
Al-Risalah [The Message] - Arabian peninsula
Yol - Turkey

 

 

 

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