Dumūʻ al-Shaykhāt; Le Blues des Shikhates
Genre: Documentary | Director: Ali Essafi | Language: Arabic, English, English Subtitles | Length: 52 minutes | Country: Morocco | Year: 2004 | Rating: NR
The female Moroccan musicians known as sheikhates sing about the realities of life — about the land, nature, wars, mountains, crises and, of course, they sing about love. In short, their music represents the heritage of Morocco. Director Ali Essafi offers a marvelous portrait of the daily lives of these regional folk singers, exploring how their music has evolved over the years — along with society’s acceptance of the women who perform this music in public.
The Syrian Bride Genre: Drama, Comedy | Director: Eran Riklis | Language: English | Length: 97 minutes | Country: Israel, Syria | Year: 2004 | Rating: G
A family deals with the typical anxieties of a wedding day while also confronting the political turmoil of the Middle East in this drama, a collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers. Hammed is a leading political figure in Majdal Shams, a Druze community that has been under Israeli occupation since the late ’60s. Years ago, Hammed arranged for his daughter Mona to marry Tallel, who has since become a successful actor in Syria. Hammed has gathered the family together to see Mona off, but the occasion is a bittersweet one — given the combative relationship between Israel and Syria, once Mona crosses the border with her husband, it’s unlikely she will ever be able to return. When the family gathers for Mona’s wedding, an insane bureaucracy jeopardizes the wedding.
Turtles Can Fly Genre: Drama | Director: Bahman Ghobadi | Language: Kurdish, English Subtitles | Length: 98 minutes | Country: Iraq, Turkey | Year: 2004 | Rating: PG-13
In a Kurdish refugee camp in 2003, residents await the U.S. invasion of Iraq, hoping for Saddam’s defeat but fearing a violent aftermath. Satellite (Soran Ebrahim) organizes children into work gangs, disarming and selling land mines to arms dealers. Satellite falls for Agrin (Avaz Latif), who comes to the camp with one-armed brother Hengov (Hiresh Feysal Rahman) and baby brother Riga (Abdol Rahman Karim). As the invasion starts, Satellite looks for a satellite dish so the camp can watch the war.