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Documentary films in February

In February, Casa Árabe’s cinema will be hosting two recently produced feature-length documentaries that have been given great critical acclaim and many awards at international film festivals.

School of Hope premiered in Spain last October at the seventh edition of the Another Way Festival, an event that promotes films which raise awareness about sustainable living practices and caring for the planet. Throughout the year, the film won numerous awards at several international festivals, including the prestigious Canadian Hot Docs.

As for Their Algeria, by French-Algerian-Palestinian director Lina Soualem, it premiered at the Visions du Réel Festival in France in 2020 and has been screened at numerous international gatherings, including the Miradas Doc Festival and Tarifa African Film Festival.
Documentary films in February
Frame of "Their Algeria"
  • Film: School of Hope

    February 04, 20227:30 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) 7:30 p.m. 5 euros: general tickets at the box office.
    4 euros: Tickets purchased online, the officially unemployed, Casa Árabe Language Center students and Youth Card holders, by showing the proper documentation. You may only receive one discount. Sales in advance at www.casaarabe.es up to the day of the screening at 12:00 p.m. Those tickets not sold online will be made available for purchase on the day of the screening at Casa Árabe’s headquarters, as of one hour before each screening (payment in cash or by debit/credit card). Assigned seats with tickets. Mask use is required at all times.
    Films shown in the original language version with subtitles in Spanish.
    On Friday, February 4, Casa Árabe is being back its film screenings in Madrid with this documentary by Mohamed El Aboudi. Tickets are now being sold online.
    School of Hope by Mohamed El Aboudi (Finland, France, Morocco / 78 min. / 2020)

    School of Hope is a charming, intimate portrait of optimism within the harshest of environments. In the vast expanse of desert east of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, seasonal rain and snow once allowed livestock to thrive, but now the drought seems endless. There is hardly a blade of grass in sight, and families travel miles to get water from a muddy hole in the ground. The children, however, willingly ride donkeys and bicycles or walk miles over the rocks to reach a “school of hope” built of clay.

    School of Hope, which follows the students and teachers of the Oulad Boukais tribal community school for more than three years, shows pupils Mohamed, Miloud, Fatima and their classmates responding with childlike joy to the school’s altruistic young teacher, Mohamed. Each child faces unique obstacles—supporting their elderly parents, avoiding the constraints placed by relatives due to traditional gender roles—while their young teacher copes in a house with no electricity or water.

    The Oulad Boukais tribe is just one of many rural communities around the world struggling to provide adequate schooling to students. The School of Hope displays the passion and commitment of the Oulad Boukais tribe in creating academic opportunities for their children, despite the obstacles they must overcome where they live.

    Awards and festivals: Pallavaa International Film Festival (Best Cinematography), PriMed (Grand Prize), Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People (Best Fiction Documentary); Afrika Filmfestival (Unesco Award), Der Neue Heimatfilm (Special Mention); Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (International Jury Special Award), Tampere Film Festival (Special Award).
  • Film: Their Algeria

    February 11, 20227:30 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) 7:30 p.m. 5 euros: general tickets at the box office.
    4 euros: Tickets purchased online, the officially unemployed, Casa Árabe Language Center students and Youth Card holders, by showing the proper documentation. You may only receive one discount. Sales in advance at www.casaarabe.es up to the day of the screening at 12:00 p.m. Those tickets not sold online will be made available for purchase on the day of the screening at Casa Árabe’s headquarters, as of one hour before each screening (payment in cash or by debit/credit card). Assigned seats with tickets. Mask use is required at all times.
    Films shown in the original language version with subtitles in Spanish.
    On the upcoming date of February 11, the February film sessions will be continuing at Casa Árabe in Madrid, with this documentary by Lina Soulem. Tickets are now being sold online.
    Their Algeria by Lina Soualem (France, Algeria, Switzerland, Qatar, 2020, 72 min.).

    After 62 years living together, Lina’s grandparents, Aïcha and Mabrouk, have decided to split up.

    They traveled together from Algeria to Thiers, a small medieval town in the middle of France, over 60 years ago. By each other’s side, they have lived the chaotic life of immigrants. Their separation gives Lina the chance to question the long journey of exile they took, and their silence.

    “After 62 years living together, my grandparents Aïcha and Mabrouk are splitting up. They now live in two different buildings, one across the street from the other. I did not understand their separation. Nobody explained it to me. I don’t know their story. No one has told it to me. Their silence worried me. Aïcha and Mabrouk married in 1952, in the Algerian village of Laouamer, without having met. Two years later, they settled in Thiers, a small medieval French town where they have lived for over 60 years. Mabrouk worked his whole life as a polisher in a knife factory. Aïcha followed a husband she didn’t know to an unknown country, and started a family with him. Trying to understand their separation takes me back to Algeria and the silence which exile has imposed upon two generations: my father’s and my own. I discover the constant suffering they endure because they were uprooted. An experience which they find impossible to describe in words. Along with them, and with the help of my father Zinedine, I set off in search of this story of exile, of unraveling bonds, of suffering and pride, which deeply affected my grandparents and a whole generation of Algerians who emigrated to France. Through this intimate portrait of Aïcha and Mabrouk, the film sheds light on the distances we carry within us and perpetuate amid our loved ones, while revealing and documenting the indelible suffering of a colonized mind.” - Lina Soualem

    Festivals and awards: Visions du Réel, Rom Film Fest, Cinemed Montpellier (Best First Film), El Gouna Film Festival (Best Documentary), Dok Leipzig, IDFA, Les Écrans documentaires, Ajyal Film Festival at Doha Film Institute, Solothurn Film Festival, MiradasDoc, Tarifa African Film Festival.
  • Film: School of Hope

    February 18, 20227:30 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) 7:30 p.m. 5 euros: general tickets at the box office.
    4 euros: Tickets purchased online, the officially unemployed, Casa Árabe Language Center students and Youth Card holders, by showing the proper documentation. You may only receive one discount. Sales in advance at www.casaarabe.es up to the day of the screening at 12:00 p.m. Those tickets not sold online will be made available for purchase on the day of the screening at Casa Árabe’s headquarters, as of one hour before each screening (payment in cash or by debit/credit card). Assigned seats with tickets. Mask use is required at all times.
    Films shown in the original language version with subtitles in Spanish.
    On Friday, February 18, this documentary by Mohamed El Aboudi will be screened for the second and last time on Casa Árabe’s movie screen in Madrid. Tickets are now being sold online.
    School of Hope by Mohamed El Aboudi (Finland, France, Morocco / 78 min. / 2020)

    School of Hope is a charming, intimate portrait of optimism within the harshest of environments. In the vast expanse of desert east of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, seasonal rain and snow once allowed livestock to thrive, but now the drought seems endless. There is hardly a blade of grass in sight, and families travel miles to get water from a muddy hole in the ground. The children, however, willingly ride donkeys and bicycles or walk miles over the rocks to reach a “school of hope” built of clay.

    School of Hope, which follows the students and teachers of the Oulad Boukais tribal community school for more than three years, shows pupils Mohamed, Miloud, Fatima and their classmates responding with childlike joy to the school’s altruistic young teacher, Mohamed. Each child faces unique obstacles—supporting their elderly parents, avoiding the constraints placed by relatives due to traditional gender roles—while their young teacher copes in a house with no electricity or water.

    The Oulad Boukais tribe is just one of many rural communities around the world struggling to provide adequate schooling to students. The School of Hope displays the passion and commitment of the Oulad Boukais tribe in creating academic opportunities for their children, despite the obstacles they must overcome where they live.

    Awards and festivals: Pallavaa International Film Festival (Best Cinematography), PriMed (Grand Prize), Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People (Best Fiction Documentary); Afrika Filmfestival (Unesco Award), Der Neue Heimatfilm (Special Mention); Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (International Jury Special Award), Tampere Film Festival (Special Award).
  • Film: Their Algeria

    February 26, 20227:30 p.m.
    MADRID
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) 7:30 p.m. 5 euros: general tickets at the box office.
    4 euros: Tickets purchased online, the officially unemployed, Casa Árabe Language Center students and Youth Card holders, by showing the proper documentation. You may only receive one discount. Sales in advance at www.casaarabe.es up to the day of the screening at 12:00 p.m. Those tickets not sold online will be made available for purchase on the day of the screening at Casa Árabe’s headquarters, as of one hour before each screening (payment in cash or by debit/credit card). Assigned seats with tickets. Mask use is required at all times.
    Films shown in the original language version with subtitles in Spanish.
    On February 26, our February film sessions will be coming to an end at Casa Árabe in Madrid, with the second and last screening of this documentary by Lina Soulem. Tickets are now being sold online.
    Their Algeria by Lina Soualem (France, Algeria, Switzerland, Qatar, 2020, 72 min.).

    After 62 years living together, Lina’s grandparents, Aïcha and Mabrouk, have decided to split up.

    They traveled together from Algeria to Thiers, a small medieval town in the middle of France, over 60 years ago. By each other’s side, they have lived the chaotic life of immigrants. Their separation gives Lina the chance to question the long journey of exile they took, and their silence.

    “After 62 years living together, my grandparents Aïcha and Mabrouk are separating. They now live in two different buildings, one across the street from the other. I did not understand their separation. Nobody explained it to me. I don’t know their story. No one has told it to me. Their silence worried me. Aïcha and Mabrouk married in 1952, in the Algerian village of Laouamer, without having met. Two years later, they settled in Thiers, a small medieval French town where they have lived for over 60 years. Mabrouk worked his whole life as a polisher in a knife factory. Aïcha followed a husband she didn’t know to an unknown country, and started a family with him. Trying to understand their separation takes me back to Algeria and the silence which exile has imposed upon two generations: my father’s and my own. I discover the constant suffering they endure because they were uprooted. An experience which they find impossible to describe in words. Along with them, and with the help of my father Zinedine, I set off in search of this story of exile, of unraveling bonds, of suffering and pride, which deeply affected my grandparents and a whole generation of Algerians who emigrated to France. Through this intimate portrait of Aïcha and Mabrouk, the film sheds light on the distances we carry within us and perpetuate amid our loved ones, while revealing and documenting the indelible suffering of a colonized mind.” - Lina Soualem

    Festivals and awards: Visions du Réel, Rom Film Fest, Cinemed Montpellier (Best First Film), El Gouna Film Festival (Best Documentary), Dok Leipzig, IDFA, Les Écrans documentaires, Ajyal Film Festival at Doha Film Institute, Solothurn Film Festival, MiradasDoc, Tarifa African Film Festival.