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Arab biographies of cinema

From April 06, 2010 until May 03, 2010

Casa Árabe presents, from April 5th to May 3rd, documentaries and fiction films carried out within a common biographic profile of certain relevant characters of the social, cultural or political Arab world. Through the cinema, public will come closer to the lives of Umm Kulzum, Muhammad Asad, Mahmoud Darwish and Emir Abd- El-Kader.

Before projecting each one of the films, there will be an introduction of the character and to the historical context of the period.

Umm Kulzum, the Orient Star, by Feriel Ben Mahmoud and Nicolas Daniel (France, 2008, 52 min.).
The Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, with her incomparable voice, became a symbol of unity among Arab countries. This woman, with a great personality and very talented, reaped huge success on the track during the 50s and 60s, and her personality is an icon of contemporary Arab culture.
A road to Mecca. The Journey of Muhammad Asad, by Georg Misch (Austria, 2008, 92 min.).
At the beginning of 1920, Leopold Weiss, Jew with origins in Vienna, travels to the Middle East, where he settles at last and converts to Islam. He changes his name into Muhammad Asad. He becomes one of the most important Muslims in the 20th Century: Adviser to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan's cofounder and the Koran translator into English. Muhammad Asad was a man who wanted to be a bridge between the Middle East and the West.

Mahmoud Darwish: as the Land is the Language, by Simone Bitton (France, 1997, 59 min.).
This documentary film portraits the universal Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, diedin August 2008, within his historical and cultural context. He is considered to be one of the most important contemporary Arab poets, his fame and acknowledgment pervaded Arab borders.
On the trail of Emir Abd El-Kader, by Mohamed Latreche (France, 2004, 52 min.).
Emir Abd El-Kader's life, an emblematic figure of modern Algeria, was characterised by his long battle against French occupation. He ended up exiled in Syria, where he died. Independent Algeria saw him as the founder of the nation. The documentary includes interesting reflections by the French scholar Bruno Etienne.

At the Auditorium of Casa Árabe in Madrid, at 19.30. Original Version with Spanish subtitles.
Arab biographies of cinema