Back to Top

The World is Watching: A Syrian Film Program 3/15 & 3/16

March 14, 2012

doxboxglobalday.jpg

THE WORLD IS WATCHING — DOX BOX Global Day 2012: A Syrian Film Program
March 15 & 16
at Spectacle Theater
124 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY
all screenings are $5
In commemoration of the first anniversary of the Syrian revolution and continuing social and political struggles, Spectacle Theater presents a selection of films made by the legendary directors Omar Amiralay, Oussama Mohammed, and today’s generation of Syrian filmmakers. These films are made available by DOX BOX, an international documentary festival that has taken place annually in Syria since 2008. The DOX BOX festival organizers, ProAction Film, have decided not to seek government permits or hold the festival this year as a statement against the regime. Instead, DOX BOX organizers are collaborating with the Network of Arab Arthouse Screens (NAAS), and ArteEast to hold “DOX BOX Global Day”, screening at 20 venues worldwide. These documentaries capture a number of different realities and shed light on the historical and current political, economic and social climates in Syria.
Read the extended entry for schedule and film descriptions!


THURSDAY MARCH 15
7:30 PM
Everyday Life in a Syrian Village dir. Omar Amiralay 1974, 85 min.
9:30 PM
A Flood in Baath Country dir. Omar Amiralay 2003, 46 min.
Step by Step dir. Oussama Mohammed 1978, 22 min.
Before Vanishing, dir. Joude Gorani, 2005, 18 min.
FRIDAY MARCH 16
7:30 PM
Silence, dir. Rami Farah, 2006, 37 min.
A Flood in Baath Country dir. Omar Amiralay 2003, 46 min.
9:30 PM
Zabad, dir. Reem Ali, 2008, 48 min.
Step by Step dir. Oussama Mohammed 1978, 22 min.
Before Vanishing, dir. Joude Gorani, 2005, 18 min.
EVERYDAY LIFE IN A SYRIAN VILLAGE
Dir. by Omar Amiralay 1974, 85 min., Syria,
In Arabic with English subtitles
THURSDAY MARCH 15TH – 7:30PM
The first documentary to present an unabashed critique of the impact of the Syrian government’s agricultural and land reforms, Everyday Life in a Syrian Village delivers a powerful jab at the state’s conceit of redressing social and economic inequities.
Interviews with farmers, health workers and a police officer contrast the peasants’ regard for the state with the mindset of state representatives toward those peasants. Sa’adallah Wannus, a prominent Syrian playwright and essayist collaborated with documentary pioneer Amiralay on the project. The film remains banned in Syria.
A FLOOD IN BAATH COUNTRY
Dir. by Omar Amiralay 2003, 46 min., Syria/France,
In Arabic with English subtitles
THURSDAY MARCH 15TH – 9:30PM
FRIDAY MARCH 16TH – 7:30PM

In 1970, Omar Amiralay made this short documentary Film Essay on the Euphrates Dam in praise of the ruling Baath party’s project to construct an impressive system of dams. Today, after fatal construction flaws have been discovered, his controversial film explores the metaphorical implications of such weakness. Without commentary or criticism, Amiralay’s film exposes Baath party propaganda and its debilitating effects on the people of al-Mashi village, 250 miles northeast of Damascus. The camera moves slowly from students to teachers to government officials, with everyone reciting the exact same praises for the president and slogans glorifying the Baath party. The film is the harshest indictment yet of the regime, portraying the devastating effects of 35 years of rigid Baath party rule on Syrian society.
STEP BY STEP
Dir. Oussama Mohammed 1978, 22 min., Syria,
In Arabic with English subtitles
THURSDAY MARCH 15TH – 9:30PM
FRIDAY MARCH 16TH – 9:30PM

Each day children trudge the muddied village paths to go to school, but as Step by Step makes painfully clear, their only real escape from crushing poverty is to join the army. A frightening, captivating and insightful portrait of how the Baath regime transformed generations of peasants into citizen-soldiers and sent the poor in droves to provincial cities as migrant laborers. This short film was Mohammad’s graduation project at the VGIK film school and foretells his cinematic style and thematic obsession with the language of violence in society.
BEFORE VANISHING
Dir. Joude Gorani, 2005, 18 min., Syria/France,
In Arabic with English subtitles
THURSDAY MARCH 15TH – 9:30PM
FRIDAY MARCH 16TH – 9:30PM

Filmmaker Joude Gorani travels from the beginning to the end of the Barada river that surrounds the capital city of Damascus. Often deemed iconic of nature’s wondrous beauty, we discover how the Barada river has suffered from exploitation, neglect, pollution and unplanned urbanization. The film also uncovers the transformation of the river’s social life and provides an intelligent measure of the distance between ideology and reality, in contemporary Syria.
SILENCE
Dir. Rami Farah, 2006, 37 min., Syria,
In Arabic with English subtitles
THURSDAY MARCH 16TH – 7:30PM
A close-up image of two Syrian men’s memory of displacement from the Golan Heights in 1967. One of them is a host of an educational Television show called “Our Sons in Golan” broadcast on Syria’s National Television, the figure who represents Golan in the memory of young Syrian men. And the second is an old man who witnessed and lived the displacement with all its results to date and sees nothing left to lose after saying what’s in his heart.
ZABAD
Dir. by Reem Ali, 2008,
48 min, Syria,
In Arabic with English subtitles
FRIDAY MARCH 16TH – 9:30PM
A Syrian family struggles with memories of imprisonment and their care for a mentally disabled member while preparing their emigration to Canada. Zabad (Foam) presents a sensitive and multi-layered portrait of a Syrian couple as they strive to balance their care for a mentally disabled family member with work, memories of political prison and a longing for change and emigration.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Posts by Molly Fair

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week

September 26, 2009

Celebrate freedom of expression and access to information by reading books that have been challenged and banned for national Banned Books Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 3! For suggested reading check out…

More By Molly Fair