Middle Eastern Films


DVDs in Middle Eastern Languages

The Band’s Visit / Bikur ha-Tizmoret
Director: Eran Kolirin
2008 (2007)
The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra arrives in Israel from Egypt for a cultural event. Once there, they find the expected delegation is not there to meet them. Arrangements to get to their destination of Petah Tiqva have not been taken care of either. They find their own ride and arrive instead at the remote town of Beit Hatikva. Stuck there until the next morning’s bus, the band, lead by the repressed Tawfiq Zacharaya, gets help from the worldly lunch owner, Dina, who offers to put them up for the night. As the band settles in the best it can, each of the members attempts to get along with the natives in their own way. What follows is a special night of quiet happenings and confessions as the band makes its own impact on the town and the town on them. In Hebrew, Arabic and English, with English subtitles. 87 min.
Call number: DVD band

Director: Maji Majidi
The story of illegal Afghan immigrants living and working at a construction site in Tehran, Iran. When one of the workers is injured, his daughter, posing as a man, becomes the breadwinner. But a hot-headed 17 year-old local youth also working at the site discovers the secret. In Farsi, with English subtitles. 96 min.
Call number: DVD bara

Broken Wings / Kenafayim Shevurot
Director: Nir Bergman
An Israeli mother wrestles with her own grief and that of her four children while working two jobs to keep their family together, after the death of her husband. Winner of 9 Israeli Film Academy awards. In Hebrew with English subtitles. 84 min.
Call number: DVD brok

The Circle / Il Cerchio
Director: Jafar Panahi
This film offers insights into the lives of women in Iran. As the narrative dynamically shifts from woman to woman, their stories culminate with tremendous potency, transforming a shared sense of dispair and injustice into one of kinship and even hope. In Farsi. 87 min.
Call number: DVD circ

The Edge of Heaven / Auf der Anderen Seite
Director: Fatih Akin
2008 (2007)
Six characters are drawn together by circumstances – an old man and a prostitute forging a partnership, a young scholar reconciling his past, two young women falling in love, and a mother putting the shattered pieces of her life back together. German, English or Turkish dialogue with optional English subtitles. 116 min.
Call number: DVD edge

Director: Amos Gitai
Set in the Mea Sherim quarter of Jerusalem, an enclave of the ultra Orthodox, Kadosh explores a hermetic world almost never seen on the screen. Here for ten years the pious Rivka has devoted herself to her husband Meir, but their marriage remains childless. Presumed barren, she is rejected in her community, which prizes children above all else. The story that follows relates the harrowing fate of Rivka, and also her beloved sister Malka — in love with a young man who has fled the community to lead a secular life. In Hebrew. 117 min.
Call number: DVD kado

Paradise Now
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
The story places two close friends, Palestinians Said and Khaled, recruited by an extremist group to perpetrate a terrorist attack in Tel-Aviv, blowing up themselves. However, things go wrong and both friends must separate in the border. One of them, maintaining in his purpose of carry the attack to the end, and the other will have his doubts about it.
In Arabic with English subtitles. 91 min.
Call number: DVD para

The Passion of the Christ
Director: Mel Gibson
Concerns the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In the Garden of Gethsemane near the Mount of Olives, Jesus is betrayed by Judas Iscariot. Jesus is condemned to death for blasphemy and brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, for sentencing. The roaring crowd demands his death, so Pilate orders his crucifixion. Jesus is severely beaten and made to carry his cross up to Golgotha, the hill outside Jerusalem, where he is nailed to the cross. With his mother looking on, he dies. In Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew dialogue, with optional English or Spanish subtitles. 127 min.
Call number: DVD pass

The Stoning of Soraya M.
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
When a journalist is stranded in her remote village, Zahra takes a bold chance to reveal what the villagers will stop at nothing to keep hidden. Thus begins the remarkable story of what happened to Soraya, a kind-spirited woman whose bad marriage leads her cruel, divorce-seeking husband to trump up false charges of infidelity, which carry an unimaginable penalty. In Farsi with English or Spanish subtitles. 116 min.
Call number: DVD ston

Turtles Can Fly
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Soran is a 13-year-old boy who orders other children around as he installs an antennae for villagers keen to hear of Saddam’s fall. Eventually, he falls for Agrin but is disturbed by her brother Henkov who can seemingly predict the future. In Kurdish with English subtitles. 97 min.
Call number: DVD turt

DVDs with Middle Eastern Cultural Content

Kite Runner
Director: Marc Forster
2008 (2007)
In a divided country on the verge of war, two childhood friends, Amir and Hassan, are about to be torn apart forever. It’s a glorious afternoon in Kabul and the skies are bursting with the exhilarating joy of a kite-fighting tournament. But in the aftermath of the day’s victory, one boy’s fearful act of betrayal will mark their lives forever and set in motion an epic quest for redemption. Now, after twenty years of living in America, Amir returns to a perilous Afghanistan under the Taliban’s iron-fisted rule to face the secrets that still haunt him and take one last daring chance to set things right. 127 min.
Call number: DVD kite

Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
2008 (2007)
In 1970s Iran, Marjane ‘Marji’ Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family. Their long dream is realized when the hated Shah is defeated in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, Marji grows up to witness first hand how the new Iran has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study. This change proves an equally difficult trial for Marji as she finds herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and her homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs. 95 min. French or dubbed English dialogue, English or Spanish subtitles.
Call number: DVD pers

Walk on Water
Director: Eytan Fox
While on assignment in Berlin, a homophobic Israeli intelligence agent is tasked with offing a Nazi war criminal. However, he has a crisis of consciousness after he befriends a target’s gay grandson. In English, Hebrew or German, with English subtitles. 103 min.
Call number: DVD walk