The Arab Film Days took place between Oct. 18 to 20 at Svetozor Cinema in Prague. Rather than merely showing revolutionary activities on the streets, the festival focused on the underlying socio-political issues of the Arab Spring. A better term to describe the occurrences that have been sweeping the Arab world – as suggested by the creators of the festival – would perhaps be, the “Arab awakening.”
The festival was organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Insaan – Czech-Arab Center for Cultural Dialogue, with the support of the European Union program, Europe for Citizens. It provided its audiences with authentic Arab voices; as opposed to outsider commentary. Six films were screened:
– Hidden Beauties (director: Nuri Buzid); a tale of two Tunisian women who are trying to achieve the same level of emancipation as their male counterparts.
– Microphone (Ahmad Abdalla); the story of Khaled, who after living in the US returns to his home, Alexandria. He is shocked by the changes that took place and finds his way back, through the world of art and music.
– Asmaa (director: Amr Salama); inspired by true events, the story of an HIV-positive, Egyptian woman hiding her medical condition.
– 678 (director: Mohamed Diab); a tale of three Egyptian women seeking fairness in confrontation with sexual abuse.
– Horses of God (director: Nabil Ajuch); the struggles of a boy named Jasin who lives in a Casablanca slum.
– A World Not Ours (director: Mahdi Fleifel); Fleifel is one of the few members of his family who managed to escape a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. He documents three generations of Palestinians and how their respectively deal with the loss of their homeland.