Arab Spring Stories Brought To Big Screen

by Peter D. Marshall

by Zein Ja’far.

From state-censorship to civil war, military coups and sectarian violence, Arab filmmakers are facing unprecedented challenges to get their movies, and messages, out on the big screen.

But this year’s Abu Dhabi Film Festival shows that out of the crisis some of the region’s most exciting cinema is emerging.

From Egypt – still the centre of Middle East filmmaking – two films, with very different takes on the country’s current predicament, stand-out.

Rags & Tatters draws on the actual events leading up to the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak to tell the story of a prisoner, mysteriously released from jail, who returns to his poor Cairo neighbourhood.

It’s a bleak and violent portrayal of the early days of the Arab Spring and  a world away from the triumphant scenes witnessed in Tahrir Square.

The film’s director Ahmed Abdallah says he felt compelled to tell the story of a section of Egyptian society that is often ignored and isolated.

He said: “We as filmmakers, this is our life, this is the language we talk. I cannot write an article or a song. What I can do is make a film about how I’m seeing what’s happening around me.”

Read the rest of this article from Sky News.

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