Facebook event page
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
For the third year, the Boston Palestine Film Festival is proud to partner with MFA film to present a survey of the very best contemporary films from the Arab region of North Africa and the Middle East. This year’s lineup highlights female directors and protagonists, featured from Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Algeria. For newcomers to Arab cinema or experienced fans, this mini-festival is not to be missed.
Beauty and the Dogs
Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia, 2017, 100 min.). Digital. Arabic with English subtitles.
When Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, is raped by police officers after leaving a party, she is forced to endure a harrowing night in which she must fight for her rights even though her tormentors control the levers of justice. Employing impressive cinematic techniques and anchored by a tour-de-force performance from newcomer Mariam Al Ferjani, Kaouther Ben Hania’s Beauty and the Dogs tells an urgent, unapologetic, and important story head-on. A rare, startling film from a female Tunisian director, it’s a striking societal critique and a forcefully feminist rallying cry.
Directed by Sophie Boutros (Lebanon, 2016, 93 min.). Digital. Arabic with English subtitles.
This heartwarming comedy follows Thérèse, the mayor’s wife in a Lebanese village, as she cheerfully prepares for a first visit from her daughter’s new fiancé and his parents. As she prepares in the kitchen, Thérèse shares the news with her beloved brother, who has a habit of popping up in every corner of the house despite the fact that he was killed 20 years ago by a Syrian bomb. When the fiancé and his parents arrive on their doorstep, Thérèse is shocked to discover they are Syrian.
Directed by Amr Salama (Egypt, 2017, 93 min.). Digital. Arabic with English subtitles.
It’s June 25, 2009, and the news of Michael Jackson’s death has taken the world by storm, deeply affecting fans all over the world—including Khaled, an Egyptian Islamic cleric whose nickname was “Jackson” during his school days because of his love for the King of Pop. The superstar’s death sparks a crisis of faith and emotions for Khaled, who is transported back to his MTV-saturated youth when he worshipped (and emulated) the pop star’s every move. Khaled discovers that his reverence for Jackson has roots in his troubled childhood. Can he reconcile his religious calling with his deep-seated infatuation with pop music?
Told in a tender tone with loving comic touches, this feel-good drama profiles an everyday hero who has the courage to seek out a meaningful life by starting with the man in the mirror. Sheikh Jackson was Egypt’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards.
17, preceded by Gaza By Her
Directed by Widad Shafakoj (Jordan, 2017, 73 min.). Digital. Arabic with English subtitles.
17 follows the Jordanian under-17 women’s soccer team as they prepare for the 2016 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. Coming from different backgrounds, each of the girls has faced a different set of challenges as a national team player, and now they are coming together to face their biggest challenge yet. The film is a social exploration of the lives of young women who are passionate about playing a sport they have been told was only for men.
Until The Birds Return
Directed by Karim Moussaoui (Algeria, 2017, 113 min.). Digital. Arabic with English subtitles.
In Algeria, past and present collide in the lives of a newly wealthy property developer, a young woman torn between reason and sentiment, and an ambitious neurologist haunted by wartime wrongdoing. These three interconnected stories beautifully showcase the vastness of the Algerian landscape and examine the collective soul of a nation still reckoning with the consequences of a civil war that engulfed the country throughout the 1990s.