Skip to main content

Homelands The Middle East in Focus

'Abbas Kiarostami has had extensive influence on world filmmaking over his 30-year career, particularly in Iran and developing countries. 10 on Ten,a self-contained masterclass on cinema, succinctly brings together his current ideas about how to shoot a film, using his feature Ten [MIFF 2003] as ... Read more
Almost There Greece/IsraelAlmost There is an intimate and inviting documentary that traces the lives of two Israeli lesbians whose search for happiness leads them to the Greek island paradise of Mykonos.Belgian-born Joelle has been living in Tel Aviv for 11 years and has had enough of the violence ... Read more
Arna's Children Palestine/Israel/Netherlands'This must-see doco penetrates a Jenin refugee camp to follow several Palestinian children from laughing kids in a theatre group to grim actors on a grislier world stage. In documenting the work of his indomitable activist mother Arna, Israeli co-director ... Read more
Bemani Iran ... Recalling the searing film The Circle (MIFF 2001), this courageous film from Dariush Mehrjui (The Pear Tree, MIFF 1999) examines the tragedy of Iranian women struggling to lead normal lives in an ultraconservative society. Powerful and gripping, Bemani expertly blurs the line ... Read more
The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan UK/Afghanistan 'Compelling' Watching it is a reminder that you don't necessarily need massive budgets to be a distinctive voice. But you do need mavericks who are brave.' -The Guardian The Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001 caused an ... Read more
Control Room USA/EgyptControl Room goes behind the scenes of Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based Arab television network, and Central Command, the US media village, during the recent US-led invasion of Iraq, in this blistering exposé of the machinations of the media and political arenas.'Noujaim's ... Read more
Death in Gaza USA/UK'Death In Gaza is a perceptive and compassionate piece of reportage' It doesn't seek to editorialise or take a broader view of history but works primarily on a human interest level. It is not about the rights and wrongs of the conflict but the experiences and mindset of those ... Read more
Generation: The Sam Spiegel Film School 1993-2002 IsraelThe Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem has been producing award-winning short films since the start of the 1990s, and this year the Festival presents an overview of the finest work from this respected institution.Party Line (1993) A day in ... Read more
Five Iran/FranceOne of the two Abbas Kiarostami films to be screened at this year's Festival'both of which premiered at Cannes this year'Five is an utterly contemplative and meditative abstract work. An homage to the Japanese cinematic master Ozu, the film is composed solely of five single shots ... Read more
Forget Baghdad Switzerland/Germany'[Director] Samir travels to Tel Aviv to talk to older Iraqi Jews, his father's comrades, about 'what it's like to become the enemy of your own past'. His charming, rueful interlocutors shine through. Secular intellectuals, they praise the vanished cosmopolitan ... Read more
Generation: The Sam Spiegel Film School 2003+ IsraelThe Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem has been producing award-winning short films since the start of the 1990s, and this year the Festival presents an overview of the finest work from this respected institution.Mother's Dance (Harikud Shel ... Read more
James' Journey to Jerusalem (Massa'ot James Be'eretz Hakodesh) Israel'a charmer' which turns an ironic mirror on a certain portion of contemporary Israeli society through the eyes of an ingenuous migrant worker. Befitting its childlike title, there's a fable-like quality to James' Journey to ... Read more
Joy of Madness (Lezate Divanegi) Iran Joy of Madness is the remarkable debut feature of 15-year-old Hana Makhmalbaf, a 'making-of' documentary of At Five in the Afternoon, directed by Hana's older sister, Samira, and screening at this year's Festival. Both women form part of the Iranian Makhmalbaf ... Read more
Letters in the Wind (Namehay Bad) IranOne of the hallmarks of Iranian cinema is the ability to present a seemingly simple premise and infuse it with a depth of feeling and startling clarity of ideas. This debut film from Alireza Amini, whose latest film, The Riverside, is also screening in the ... Read more
Nina's Tragedies (Ha'asonot Shei Nina) Israel' [Winner of 11 Israeli Academy Awards] Nina's Tragedies is that rare film which achieves a lusciously paradoxical 'happy-sad' state, making us laugh and cry at the same time. Writer-director Savi Gabizon unfurls a melancholic romp through the range of ... Read more
Purity (Tehora) Israel'some people call her film daring, others dangerous. Anat Zuria admits that her documentary about Jewish family purity is meant to provoke. But she sees greater peril in keeping quiet about a subject that shapes the lives of Orthodox Jewish women. Purity focuses on observance ... Read more
The Riverside Iran During the recent Iraq'US war, a newly-wed bride steps on a mine in the sparse, sun-scorched desert on the Iran'Iraq border. If she moves her foot, the mine will detonate. Pleading for her husband to help, the young woman is hysterical. Urging his beloved to remain calm, the man ... Read more
Wall (Mur) France/IsraelWall arrives direct from its place in Director's Fortnight at Cannes this year.'an eye-opener about the true dimensions'both physical and mental'of the barrier being built to divide Palestinian territories from Israel, documentary maker Simone Bitton's Wall is a ... Read more
Zohre & Manouchehr France/Iran'How did religion become a political system and manage to penetrate our privacy, creating a feeling of anxiety around the subject of sexuality' How can love and sexuality find a way through the myriad of prohibitions and interdicts in contemporary Iranian society' ... Read more
Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director