Our Summer in Tehran

Our Summer in Tehran
Genre:
Documentary | Director: Justine Shapiro | Language: English, Persian, English Subtitles | Length: 59 minutes | Country: Iran | Year: 2009 | Rating: NR

Justine Shapiro, a Jewish-American filmmaker and former host of the travel series GlobeTrekker, takes her 6-year-old son with her to Tehran where they spend the summer with three families: the family of a doctor who works with the Revolutionary Guards; a two-career, multi-generational family; and a single mom who’s an actress. The surprising relationships that arise over the time of the filming, and the exposure to politically and culturally diverse Iranians living normal, middle-class lives in the midst of great international tension, make this film a real must-see. When the Iranian government abruptly gives Justine and Mateo 48 hours to leave the country, promising relationships are severed. Produced by Promises Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with partial funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Visit the film’s website here.
Available to purchase to stream online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2, WH.H.8.3

Garbage Dreams

Garbage Dreams
Genre:
Documentary | Director: Mai Iskander | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 79 minutes | Country: Egypt | Year: 2009 | Rating: N/A

Filmed over four years, GARBAGE DREAMS follows three teenage boys – Adham, a bright precocious 17-year-old; Osama, a charming impish 16-year-old; Nabil, a shy artistic 18-year-old – born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest garbage village, a ghetto located on the outskirts of Cairo. It is a world folded onto itself, an impenetrable labyrinth of narrow roadways camouflaged by trash; it is home to 60,000 Zaballeen (or Zabbaleen), Egypt’s “garbage people.”

For generations, the residents of Cairo have depended on the Zaballeen to collect their trash, paying them only a minimal amount for their garbage collection services. The Zaballeen survive by recycling the city’s waste. These entrepreneurial garbage workers recycle 80% of all the garbage they collect, creating what is arguably the world’s most efficient waste disposal system.

When the city they keep clean suddenly decides to replace the Zaballeen with multinational garbage disposal companies, the Zaballeen community finds itself at a crossroads. Face to face with the globalization of their trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.

Lesson plans to accompany the movie are available here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards:  WH.H.8.3, 8.P.2.2 (science)

Zahrah

Zahrah
Genre:
Documentary, Biography | Director: Mohammed Bakri | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 70 minutes | Country: Palestine, Israel | Year: 2009 | Rating: N/A

Director Mohammad Bakri narrates this personal documentary about his aunt Zahra Bakri. Mrs. Bakri was born and raised in the Palestinian village of al-Bane in the Galilee. Starting with her childhood, the film takes us on a journey through Palestine’s turbulent history and chronicles the effects of these unfolding events on Zahra and her extended family. We experience the violence that resulted in the establishment of Israel, the effect of life under martial law (1948-1966) on Palestinian family life, and the radical transformation of Palestinian society from a majority to a disenfranchised minority in their own homeland.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.1