The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and Sursock Museum are pleased to announce the forth program of their year-long partnership to bring forward a monthly series of screenings under the title AFAC Film Night, showcasing the work of Arab filmmakers supported by AFAC over the past years.
Entitled “Retrospection”, the forth program starts in March with Fidaï by Damien Ounouri (March 8th) and will finish in April 2017 with 74 (The Reconstitution of a Struggle) by Raed Rafei and Rania Rafei (April 19th).
“AFAC Film Night” kicked off in May 2016 with the aim of offering local audiences a glimpse at independent filmmaking in the region which suffers from under-exposure and little accessibility due to the absence of proper distribution structures for Arab films within the Arab region. Curated by AFAC and Sursock Museum, the screenings are presented in four programs, each with a title at which the films’ narratives converge: Displacement, Entrapment, Resilience and Retrospection. Previous screenings included: Port of Memory by Kamal Aljafari, Roshmia by Salim Abou Jabal and Home Sweet Home by Nadine Naous, Birds of September by Sarah Francis, Diaries of a Flying Dog by Bassem Fayad, The Man Inside by Karim Goury, The Wanted 18 by Amer Shomali, Mother of the Unborn by Nadine Salib and The Runner by Saeed Taji Farouky.
All screenings will take place at Sursock Museum Auditorium.
AFAC Film Night (March and April, 2017)
Directed by Damien Ounouri
Wednesday 8 March, 19:00 to 20:30
In Arabic with English subtitles
Color and black and white, 83’
In Arabic, Fidaï means “the one who dedicates his life to a cause.” This documentary revisits one man’s memories of being a fighter for Algeria’s liberation from French colonialism. Director Damien Ounouri’s great-uncle, El Hadi, joined his sister in France during the Algerian Revolution, becoming an active member of a secret armed group of the National Liberation Front. Settling of scores, attempted murder, hiding, imprisonment, and finally deportation back to Algeria in 1962, El Hadi’s personal journey tells the story of countless anti-colonial ex-fighters, and echoes the current effervescence of the Arab World. Today, at the age of seventy, El Hadi reveals this dark part of his life for the first time, helping to ensure this significant phase of Algerian history will not be forgotten.
Damien Ounouri (b. 1982 Clermont-Ferrand, France) completed his studies at the Sorbonne and currently conducts cinema workshops for children and teenagers in both France and Algeria. He is the director of the short documentaries Changping Sonata (2007) and Away from Nedjma (2009), and the feature-length documentary Xiao Jia Going Home (2008), which screened at numerous festivals.
74 - The Reconstitution of a Struggle (2012)
Directed by Raed Rafei and Rania Rafei, Wednesday 19 April, 19:00 to 21:00
In Arabic with English subtitles
Color, stereo, 95’
Between March and April 1974, students at the American University of Beirut occupied university offices for 37 days, demonstrating against a tuition increase. Fast forward to 2011, in the midst of the Arab Spring, filmmakers Rania and Raed Rafei decide to step back and reconsider the present situation in the light of the 1970s, a period pregnant with hope, but also a prelude to civil war. With the Lebanese student revolt of 1974 as their starting point, the filmmakers direct an absorbing documentary on the core issues of revolution and democracy. In addition to a meticulous re-enactment, they include theatrical improvisations in which activists give their interpretations of the student leaders’ actions in 1974.
Raed Rafei is a Lebanese filmmaker and multimedia journalist. Since 2004, he has worked as a reporter and blogger covering political, social, and economic issues related to Lebanon and the Middle East. In 2006, he joined the Los Angeles Times as a correspondent in Lebanon. For the past two years, Rafei has been producing video reports for websites and television stations such as The Global Post and RCN, a Colombian television station.
Rania Rafei has a diploma in audiovisual and cinema studies from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA). She wrote and directed the short movies Harissa Texas (2004), The Dish (2005), and Manchette (2005). She also directed a documentary for Al Jazeera Kids in 2008. Since 2005, she has been directing documentaries, awareness spots, and music videos about the subject of disability, commissioned by the Special Rapporteur on Disability in the UN.
About Sursock Museum
The Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum in the center of Beirut first opened in 1961, with a mission to collect, preserve, and exhibit local and international art.
Through its collection, archives, exhibitions, and public programs, the museum aim to produce knowledge on art practices in the region and explore work that reflects on our contemporary moment. The goal is to support local art production, to provide a platform for encounter and experimentation with art and ideas, and to inform and challenge different audiences in new and unexpected ways.