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Film in the Middle East and North Africa

Film in the Middle East and North Africa
Creative Dissidence

A timely window on the world of Middle Eastern cinema, this remarkable overview includes many essays that provide the first scholarly analysis of significant works by key filmmakers in the region.

Sales restrictions: Not for sale in Egypt or the Middle East
January 2011
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
383 pages | 6 x 9 | 54 b&w photos, 2 tables |

This is the first study to cover cinemas from Iran to Morocco. Nine essays present the region's major national cinemas, devoting special attention to the work of directors who have given image and voice to dissent from political regimes, from patriarchal customs, from fundamentalist movements, and from the West. These country essays are complemented by in-depth discussions of eighteen films that have been selected for both their excellence and their critical engagement with pressing current issues. The introduction provides a comprehensive overview of filmmaking throughout the region, including important films produced outside the national cinemas. The long history of Iranian cinema, its international renown, and the politics of directors confronting the state, earns it a special place in this volume. The other major emphasis is on the Israel/Palestine conflict, featuring films by Palestinian directors, Israelis, and an Egyptian working in Syria.

Nineteen authors collaborated on this book, among them Walter Armbrust, Roy Armes, Kevin Dwyer, Eric Egan, Nurith Gertz, Lina Khatib, Florence Martin, and Nadia Yaqub. About half of the contributors are film scholars; the others range across literary studies and the social sciences to two film directors and a novelist. Beyond differences in disciplinary orientation, there is considerable variation among contributors in the perspectives that inform their writing. They offer an illuminating range of approaches to the cinemas of the region.

The book is richly illustrated with posters of the featured films, photos of their directors at work, and stills illustrating critical arguments in the film essays.

  • Preface: Creative Responses to Conflict, Josef Gugler
  • Part 1: Regime Critics Confront Censorship in Iranian Cinema, Eric Egan
    • The Hidden Half (Tahmineh Milani): Love, Idealism, and Politics, Fakhreddin Azimi
    • Marriage of the Blessed (Mohsen Makhmalbaf): The Wounds of War and the Betrayal of the Revolution, Eric Egan
    • Under the Skin of the City (Rakhshan Bani-Etemad): Under the Surface Contrasts, Rini Cobbey
    • Stray Dogs (Marziyeh Meshkini): Cruelty and Humanity amid Hardship in Afghanistan, Eric Egan
  • Part 2: Tolerated Parodies of Politics in Syrian Cinema, Lisa Wedeen
    • The Dupes (Tawfik Saleh): Three Generations Uprooted from Palestine and Betrayed, Nadia Yaqub
    • The Extras (Nabil Maleh): Lovers Suffer the Twin Repressions of Patriarchal Culture and a Police State, Josef Gugler
  • Part 3: Lebanese Cinema and the Representation of War, Lina Khatib
    • In the Shadows of the City (Jean Khalil Chamoun): Reconciling the Diverse Legacies of a Collective Memory, Edward Gibeau
  • Part 4: Israeli Cinema Engaging the Conflict, Nurith Gertz and Yael Munk
    • Kedma (Amos Gitai): The Birth of Two Nations at War in 1948, Nurith Gertz, Gal Hermoni, and Yael Munk
    • Avanti popolo (Rafi Bukaee): Battle Cry of the Fallen, Judd Ne'eman and Yael Munk
  • Part 5: A Chronicle of Palestinian Cinema, Nurith Gertz and George Khleifi
    • Waiting (Rashid Masharawi): A Scattered People Waiting for a Shared Future, Nadia Yaqub
    • Tale of the Three Jewels (Michel Khleifi): Children Living and Dreaming amid Violence in Gaza, Nurith Gertz and George Khleifi
    • Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad): Narrating a Failed Politics, Nadia Yaqub
  • Part 6: Political Film in Egypt, Walter Armbrust
    • Destiny (Youssef Chahine): Liberal and Fundamentalist Islam Clash amid the Splendor of Twelfth-Century Andalusia, Josef Gugler
    • Closed Doors (Atef Hetata): The Attractions of Fundamentalism, Josef Gugler and Kim Jensen
  • Part 7: Cinema and State in Tunisia, Florence Martin
    • Bedwin Hacker (Nadia El Fani): A Hacker Challenges Western Domination of the Global Media, Josef Gugler
  • Part 8: From State Production to Cinéma d'Auteur in Algeria, Roy Armes
    • Days of Glory (Rachid Bouchareb): Another Vision of French History, Olivier Barlet
    • Hamlet of Women (Mohamed Chouikh): Village Chronicles from a Time of Terrorism, Denise Brahimi
  • Part 9: Morocco: A National Cinema with Large Ambitions, Kevin Dwyer
    • Ali Zaoua, Prince of the Streets (Nabil Ayouch): The Harsh Life of Street Children and the Poetics of Childhood, Josef Gugler
  • Contributors
  • Film Index
  • Name Index

Josef Gugler is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, where he continues to teach on the cinemas of the Middle East and Africa. A late convert to film studies, he is the author of African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent. He served as a member of the jury for long fiction films at Pan Africa International, Montreal, 2010.