American Arab

American Arab
Genre:
Documentary | Director: Usama Alshaibi | Language: English | Length: 60 minutes | Country: United States | Year: 2013 | Rating: NR, some strong language

In Kartemquin’s American Arab, Iraqi-born Director Usama Alshaibi takes a provocative look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America, weaving his own life’s journey and “coming-of-Arab” experiences into the life stories of several diverse characters. Exploring the values, passions, and hopes of his fellow Arab-Americans, Usama tries to make peace with his conflicted chosen homeland.

Arab-Americans are not one monolithic group, but rather a diverse and complex array of many voices and cultures. This film weaves sadness and humor, anger and satire, provocation and understanding, embracing the multifaceted Arab American experience of post 9/11 America. By shedding light and giving clarity to a recent and difficult time for Arabs living in the US, American Arab shows how the struggles over identity within this documentary are universal.

American Arab is a project of Kartemquin’s first Diversity Fellowship, sponsored by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Ford Foundation. For more information, see the film’s website: https://www.kartemquin.com/films/american-arab

This film is available to colleges, schools, and libraries through the Cinema Guild, click here for more information.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.7, WH.H.8, AH2.H.7, AH2.H.8, 12.C.1.3 (Sociology)

The Wanted 18

The Wanted 18
Genre:
Documentary, Animation | Director: Paul Cowan, Amer Shomali | Language: Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, English Subtitles | Length: 75 mins. | Country: Israel and Palestinian Territories | Year: 2014 | Rating: NR

It’s 1987, and the first Palestinian poplar movement in the West Bank is rising. Residents want local alternatives to Israeli goods, including milk, which they’ve been buying from an Israeli company. And so begins the strange story of the 18 cows. The plot is hatched by pacifist intellectuals and professionals. Not your typical dairy farmer. These “lactivisits” forge ahead anyway, buying 18 cows and smuggling them into the West Bank of Beit Sahour. But who knows anything about cows? These newly minted farmers have to learn the most basic skills – even how to milk their charges, which isn’t as easy as it looks. Eventually, the cows come to the attention of Israeli authorities, and the chase is on – a cat-and-mouse (or soldier-and-cow) game writ large, as the cows shuttle from barn to barn, which their pursuers determined to find them. The cows become legendary and the “intifada milk” (sometimes distributed under cover of darkness) becomes a part of daily life.

More information about the film can be found here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.1, WH.H.8.2

The Water Diviner

The Water Diviner
Genre:
Drama, War | Director: Russell Crowe | Language: English | Length: 111 minutes | Country: Turkey | Year: 2014 | Rating: R

Crowe also stars in the film as Australian farmer Joshua Connor, who, in 1919, goes in search of his three missing sons, last known to have fought against the Turks in the bloody Battle of Gallipoli. Arriving in Istanbul, he is thrust into a vastly different world, where he encounters others who have suffered their own losses in the conflict: Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), a strikingly beautiful but guarded hotelier raising a child alone; her young, spirited son, Orhan (Dylan Georgiades), who finds a friend in Connor; and Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdoğan), a Turkish officer who fought against Connor’s boys and who may be this father’s only hope. With seemingly insurmountable obstacles in his path, Connor must travel across the battle-scarred Turkish landscape to find the truth…and his own peace.

Recommended for use in Community College courses.