Review: “I was a French Muslim” by Mokhtar Mokhtefi offers a unique story

Eight films screened in the “Arab Spectacular” section of the Red Sea International Film Festival

DUBAI: The inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia, which runs from December 6 to 15, will showcase some of the best Arab and international films. With just over a month to go before the event kicks off in Jeddah, the RSFF unveiled the first eight films that will make up the “Arab Spectacular” section of the festival, which aims to highlight the latest new works. more exciting in preview. across the Arab world.

In a statement, Edouard Waintrop, artistic director of RSFF, said: “To be able to present the variety of filmmakers and Arab stories told, and to amplify them on an international stage is the primary objective of the Festival. We know that the Arab world is not a monolith, and to see such diversity in the types of stories told through these films is unique. “

As opening night approaches, read on for eight Arab films that are expected to wow audiences in December.


Famous Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi, known for his directorial work on “Laila’s Wedding” and “Ticket to Jerusalem”, will take viewers on a special journey in his latest film through photographs dating from the 1930s-1948s in the historic town of Jaffa, where his father lived before he was forced to emigrate in 1948.


The Algerian drama is directed by Djaffar Gacem and is based on the actual events of May 8, 1945, when French colonial forces attacked thousands of Algerians in the city of Guelma (called Heliopolis in antiquity.)

“Their heads are green and their hands are blue”
For his third feature film, Emmy nominated Jay Bulger and Moroccan producer Karim Debbagh retraced American composer Paul Bowles’ 1959 expedition through Morocco in which he set out to record the various tribes of the country and their music.

“Casablanca Beats”

Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch’s film, which premiered in July, is based on the director’s childhood experience and was the first all-Moroccan film to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It was also selected as Morocco’s candidacy for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.

“The exam”

Directed by Iraqi filmmaker Shawkwat Amin Korki, the review tells the story of a young Kurdish woman named Rojan who faces a forced marriage. Aided by her sister, Shilan, who herself is in an unhappy marriage, Rojan struggles to pass a college entrance exam and gain some control over her life.

“Take me to the movies”

This documentary directed by Albaqer Jaafar was one of 14 films selected by the Red Sea Fund to receive production and post-production funding. The feature film follows the journey of former soldier Nassif, who fled the war in Iraq by fleeing to the cinema.

“Memory box”

A co-production uniting Lebanon, France and Canada, this film by Beirut-born director duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige tells the story of a single mother from Montreal confronted with memories of her teenage past during the Lebanese Civil War. .

This film marks the debut feature of Tunisian star Dhafer L’Abidine. The film, also written by and performed by L’Abidine, depicts an unlikely father-son relationship, where the roles are reversed. As Habib’s health deteriorates, it brings him closer to his son Ahmed, 15, from a previous marriage.

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