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The builders of the Alhambra

January 27, 2023Screening at 7:00 p.m. (112 minutes). Followed by a colloquium.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). Screening at 7:00 p.m. (112 minutes). Followed by a colloquium. 5 euros: general tickets at the box office.
Screening in Spanish. Colloquium in Spanish and English, without translation.

On Friday, January 27, Casa Árabe will be screening the film “The Builders of the Alhambra” at its Madrid headquarters, followed by a meeting with its director, Isabel Fernández, and actor Amr Waked, who plays the role of Ibn al-Khatib. Buy your tickets online now.

Released at movie theaters in November 2022, Isabel Fernández’s documentary delves into the life of the creators of this unique work of art, the reasons that motivated them, the adventure that the project represented and the conflicts endured by the main-role players in its construction, in a historical period filled with crisis and transcendental change.

Aware that his besieged Kingdom of Granada was doomed to vanish as a result of the advancement of neighboring kingdoms, Sultan Yusuf I of Granada embarked on the construction of a building that would reflect the splendor of his civilization and defy oblivion: the Alhambra palaces.

His vizier, Ibn al-Khatib (Amr Waked), a poet and genius ahead of his time, took part and made a record of this colossal challenge in his chronicles. However, when the sultan’s son, Muhammad V, was bequeathed the throne and then involved the vizier in the new policies during his reign, Ibn al-Khatib grew torn between the ideas of his old world and the new one then emerging. His memoirs tell us about the history of fourteenth-century Granada, the swan song of Muslim Europe.

Isabel Fernández (Barcelona, 1970) is an independent documentary filmmaker and producer. She has been a member of the Eurovision Diversity Group and has directed documentary series broadcast in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and Portugal, as well as other locations. In 2010, she directed and produced El fill de son pare, which was given a special mention by the jury in Berlin at Prix Europa 2010. In 2014, she directed Corredors de Fons, receiving an award for best director at the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival and best screenplay at Europe-Orient du Filme Documentaire in Asilah.

Amr Waked (Cairo, 1972) is a film, television and theater actor. He studied theater at the American University in Cairo. He is best known to international audiences and in Hollywood for his role in the film Syriana (2005). In 2008, he joined the cast of the BBC/HBO television series House of Saddam to play the role of Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel. Other notable roles he has been given include that of the Yemeni sheikh known as Muhammad in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Pierre Del Río in Lucy, by director Luc Besson.

The builders of the Alhambra

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