Past and Future Stories of the Arab Peoples

Co-presented by The Sasakawa Peace Foundation The Sasakawa Middle East Islam Fund

October 9–12   [Venues] Forum 4, Yamagata Museum of Art 1


This year—four years since the so-called “Arab Spring”—we will explore the possibilities in relationships transcending the boundaries of state and community by screening new films that confront the changing Arab world head-on alongside old films featuring Lebanon and Palestine in the 1940s and ’70s. As is evident from our line-up, the Arabic-speaking world spans national borders and is so rich with unique stories that it cannot be contained within the simple classification of “Arab.”

From Egypt, there is Um Ghayeb—Mother of the Unborn, a film about a woman’s views on life and death that emerge between the deeply rooted conventions of her community and the changing times. From My Syrian Room looks back on how the director survived the oppressive environment of his childhood by drawing, while Walls and People sheds light on Morocco’s relationship with Europe through everyday life in the Old Medina neighborhood of Casablanca. Trip Along Exodus illustrates the life of a senior PLO official through the eyes of his daughter, The Unbearable Presence of Asmahan explores the impact of the late singer Asmahan in the past and on the Arab world today, and A Syrian Love Story closes in on human nature that transcends national and religious boundaries. In addition to these six new films, Lebanon 1949, Lebanese Civil War, and other 16mm films will be shown. There will also be talk events with directors and other guests, and a special live concert.

16mm Films of Lebanon and Palestine from the 1940s through the 1980s
Land Day  JAPAN / 1983 / 48 min
+ Talk: Tanami Aoe
Lebanon 1949  MEXICO / 1949 / 48 min / silent (original soundtrack lost)  + Kodanshi (Storyteller): Takarai Kinkan
Lebanese Civil War  JAPAN / 1976 / 65 min
Beirut 1982  JAPAN / 1982 / 19 min
+ Talk: Adachi Masao

Um Ghayeb—Mother of the Unborn  Dir: Nadine Salib / EGYPT, UAE / 2014 / 84 min
The Unbearable Presence of Asmahan  Dir: Azza El-Hassan / AUSTRIA, QATAR / 2014 / 71 min

Walls and People  Dir: Dalila Ennadre / FRANCE, ALGERIA, MOROCCO / 2014 / 83 min
Trip Along Exodus  Dir: Hind Shoufani / PALESTINE, SYRIA, LEBANON, USA / 2015 / 120 min

From My Syrian Room  Dir: Hazem Al-Hamwi / FRANCE, GERMANY, SYRIA, QATAR / 2014 / 70 min
A Syrian Love Story  Dir: Sean McAllister / UK / 2015 / 80 min

Talk Events
Filming Stories of the Arab Peoples [Admission Free]
Special Live Concert
Good bye Schlöndorff—Audio Letters and Correspondence From a Faked War and Ky Acoustic Concert
[Admission] Door Tickets: 2,000 yen