Cairo in One Breath

Cairo in One Breath
Genre
: Documentary | Director: Anna Kipervaser | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 79 minutes | Country: Egypt | Year: 2015 | Rating: NR

The adhan is the Muslim call to prayer, an invitation to sacred space traditionally performed by a muezzin at a mosque five times each day. Cairo has thousands of mosques, and with countless muezzins chanting the call simultaneously there is a holy cacophony that reverberates through the city’s soundscape. Enter the Ministry of Religious Endowments with the concept of a unified adhan, a single call from one muezzin broadcast from a central studio to a network of mosques, each relaying the adhan through its own sound system. This beautiful and timely film is full of rich details of everyday life and maintains a quiet respect for the range of opinions voiced on either side of this somewhat unpopular edict. In a culture still unsettled by recent revolution, the idea of any kind of unification is controversial, and the loss of local traditions and individual voices is deeply felt.

For more information about the film and multimedia project, click here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2

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

I am the People

I am the People
Genre:
Documentary | Director: Anna Roussillon | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 110 minutes | Country: Egypt | Year: 2014 | Rating: NR

January 2011 in Egypt was marked by anti-government demonstrations. While tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo, poor villagers in the country’s south followed the tense situation on Tahrir Square on their TV screens and in the daily newspapers. It is from their perspective that this documentary captures the political changes in Egypt, from the toppling of President Mubarak to the election of Mohamed Morsi. The film reveals the villagers’ hopes and disappointments, and shows that despite the wild events, very little has actually changed in their lives.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2, WH.H.8.6