Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain

Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain
Genre: Documentary | Director: Robert Gardner | Language: English | Length: 117 minutes | Country: Mediterranean, Global | Year: 2007 | Rating: PG

Over a thousand years ago, Europe experienced one of its greatest periods of cultural enlightenment.For more than three centuries in Medieval Spain, Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together and prospered in a thriving multicultural civilization. Here, remarkable individuals of different faiths made lasting contributions in such areas as poetry, art, architecture, music, dining etiquette, science, agriculture, medicine, engineering, navigation, textiles, and even hydraulic technology.

Their rich, complex culture reached a high point in the Mediterranean Middle Ages. However, larger forces in conquest of land and power brought about puritanical judgments, absolutism and religious extremism. The conflict they triggered extinguished the shared learning that once flourished in this enlightened land.

Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain takes viewers through an engaging, insightful journey into this critical period in world history. This website allows you to further explore this significant past to better understand the present.

Lesson plans and classroom ideas available here.

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

Wadjda

Wadjda
Genre:
Comedy, Drama | Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 98 minutes | Country: Saudi Arabia | Year: 2012 | Rating: PG

WADJDA is a movie of firsts. This first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia is the story of a young girl living in a suburb of Riyadh determined to raise enough money to buy a bike in a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. Even more impressive, WADJDA is the first feature film made by a female Saudi filmmaker. In a country where cinemas are banned and women cannot drive or vote, writer- director Haifaa Al Mansour has broken many barriers with her new film.

Vasermil

Vasermil
Genre: Drama | Director: Mushon Salmona | Language: Hebrew, English Subtitles | Length: 93 minutes | Country: Israel | Year: 2007 | Rating: PG

The film is named after the local football stadium located in the town of Be’er Sheva in southern Israel. Vasermil tells the story of three teenagers who live in the same tough neighborhood, growing up in an unforgiving environment, pinning their hopes on football as a way out. Shlomi lives with his widowed mother, little sister, and step-father and works as a pizza delivery boy. Adiel, of Ethiopian descent, has to look after his young brother and sick mother. Dima, a new immigrant from Russia, has a father who is unemployed and a mother who works as a cleaning lady. The three teens are recruited by the coach of the local football team to take part in the Be’er Sheva open youth championship, held, traditionally on Independence Day at the Vasermil stadium . Learning to work together as a team is the key to success in the tournament and success in the tournament means getting noticed by the scouts of the local football empire – Hapoel Be’er Sheva. In order to win the tournament they will have to play as a team, overcome their differences, get over their sense of inferiority and prejudice.