1001 Inventions and The Library of Secrets

1001 Inventions and The Library of Secrets
Genre: Short, Adventure | Director: Credit to 1001 Inventions, Jameel Foundation | Language: English | Length: 13 minutes | Country: Global | Year: 2010 | Rating: NR

Three school children visit a dusty library to research the story of ‘The Dark Ages’. What they find changes their world view dramatically as ingenious inventors and pioneers of science and culture are vividly brought to life.

Available for free streaming online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: 6.C.1.2, WH.H.2.5, WH.H.3.1

El Naser Salah el Dine

El Naser Salah el Dine
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Drama | Director: Youssef Chahine | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 90 minutes | Country: Global | Year: 1963 | Rating: NR

In the 12th century, Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, united Arabs across North Africa and Western Asia against the crusading Christians. After defeating Richard the Lionhearted, the legendary Saladin pledges that Arab Jerusalem will remain open to all pilgrims, whatever their religion.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: 6.C.1.2, WH.H.2.4, WH.H.2.5

Life and Nothing More

Life and Nothing More
Genre: Adventure, Drama | Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Language: Persian, English Subtitles | Length: 95 minutes | Country: Iran | Year: 1992 | Rating: NR

The thin distinction between fiction and reality comes in for some blurring in this fact-based near-documentary. Learning of a major earthquake, the director of a children’s movie, Where Is My Friend’s Home?, is worried about two of his performers in that film. He sets out with his son to interview the survivors and learn the fate of his two acquaintances. However, he hires locals to play himself and his son and hires local earthquake survivors to play other earthquake survivors. When his alter-egos discover the actors, they are two people who have been hired to impersonate the two men. Even though every story told by the filmmaker is accurate, as are the settings and scenes of devastation, everything is just one step away from reality. In addition to coy games played with reality, the film is a moving testament to the will to survive and get on with life.