I am the People

I am the People
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

On the Bride’s Side

On the Bride’s Side
Genre: Documentary | Director: Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande, Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 98 minutes | Country: Global | Year: 2014 | Rating: NR

In Milan, five refugees of the Syrian Civil War and survivors of the October 11, 2013, migrant shipwreck in Lampedusa meet an Italian journalist and a Palestinian-Syrian poet who are eager to help the group reach Sweden, a safe haven for migrants. How can the group traverse the European continent from Milan to Stockholm without being stopped at the borders of Italy, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden? What if they pretend they are on their way to a wedding party? What border patrol agent would ever stop a bride to check her documents?

With a Palestinian friend dressed up as the bride and more than a dozen Italian and Syrian friends as wedding guests, the group crosses halfway over Europe on a four-day journey of almost two thousand miles. This emotionally charged journey not only brings out the stories, hopes and dreams of the five refugees and their new friends, but also reveals an unknown side of Europe – a transnational and supportive Europe that opposes the restrictive laws that are meant to keep refugees out.

Winner of Human Rights Nights Award at the Venice International Film Festival, ON THE BRIDE’S SIDE is a timely look at the urgent refugee crisis happening in the Middle East and Europe and an irreverent and unexpected take on the immigrant road movie.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.7.1, WH.H.8.2 , WH.H.8.3, WH.H.8.6

Women’s Chitchat

Women’s Chitchat (Dardashah nisāʼīyah)
Documentary | Director: Hala Galal | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 55 minutes | Country: Egypt | Year: 2006 | Rating: NR

This film studies the evolution of Egyptian society from the early 20th century to today, focusing on the status of women as experienced by several generations within the same family. The women discuss the inter-generational changes that have affected fashion, politics and courtship as well as society’s role for women in general. The achievements made by past leaders of the Egyptian women’s rights movement are also highlighted. By using old home movies, photographs and the verbal experiences of women young and old, WOMEN’S CHITCHAT provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Egyptian women over the past one hundred years.

Available for free streaming online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.6