The Six: Films to be screened at the Cairo International Film Festival

Tunisian actress Dorra Zarrouk poses on the red carpet of the Cairo International Film Festival 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 November 2018

The Six: Films to be screened at the Cairo International Film Festival

DUBAI:The Cairo International Film Festival is set to run from Nov. 20-29 and will feature a bevy of powerful films from the Middle East and beyond.

‘Poisonous Roses’
Ahmed Fawzi Saleh directs this film set in a poor Cairo neighborhood and zooms in on the life of Taheya, who wants to prevent his brother from escaping.

Directed by Hicham Lasri, this 94-minute film follows the story of four different characters dealing with their lives as Eid Al-Adha is banned by the country’s leader.

‘Heaven Without People’
This provocative film is the debut feature-length work of Lucien Bourjeily. It centers on the tense reunion of a large family over lunch.

Moroccan writer-director Mohcine Besri tells a moving story of Laaziza, a troubled mother who is faced with the difficulty of welcoming back a man who once rejected her — all for the love of her only son.

Exploring radicalization and its horrors, this movie is set in Tunis and follows a father’s bid to uncover the truth about his dead son who had links with a radical group.

Kilo 64
Director Amir El-Shenawy follows the journey of an ambitious pharmacy graduate who pursues career in farming just off the Cairo-Alexandria desert road.


Emirati artist Farah Al-Qasimi’s first solo US show set to open

Farah Al-Qasimi’s ‘Living Room Vape’ (2017). (Supplied)
Updated 16 July 2019

Emirati artist Farah Al-Qasimi’s first solo US show set to open

DUBAI: Emirati artist Farah Al-Qasimi’s first solo exhibition at a US institution is set to open on July 30 at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Working in photography, video, and performance, Al-Qasimi’s work explores themes of gender, nationality and class. Her photographs subvert ingrained expectations of how images are constructed and understood and she is known for borrowing conventions from various sources, including documentary photography and Renaissance paintings.

Um Al Naar (Mother of Fire) (still), 2019. (Supplied)

Camouflage and concealment play a central role in the artist’s work. In a recent series of portraits, Al-Qasimi obscures the faces of her subjects while capturing intimate images, despite the lack of a clear, engaging face. Various compositional strategies hide identifying features — behind plumes of smoke, a well-placed hand, or sumptuously patterned textiles and drapery — while she still manages to accentuate the opulent interiors her subjects inhabit.

Alongside a group of recent photographs, the exhibition will include a screening of Al-Qasimi’s new film, “Um Al Naar (Mother of Fire)” (2019), which was recently unveiled at Art Basel Statements.

M Napping on Carpet, 2016. (Supplied)

The 40-minute video is structured like a television documentary following a jinn — a ghost-like entity in Islamic tradition. Delivering a confessional, reality TV-style monologue, the jinn appears on camera beneath a patterned sheet. The video interweaves her thoughts on centuries of Portuguese and British colonial meddling in the modern-day emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah in the UAE. The video also explores the influence of the European presence in the region and the use of Euro-centric practices for the display of historical artifacts.

Curated by Henriette Huldisch, the director of exhibitions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, the exhibition marks the first time Al-Qasimi’s work has been shown in a solo exhibition in the US — it is set to wrap up on Oct. 20.  

The artist lives and works between New York and Dubai and has seen her work exhibited in The Third Line gallery in Dubai, Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai and the San Francisco Arts Commission, among other locations.

Al-Qasimi received her MFA from the Yale School of Art and has participated in residencies at the Delfina Foundation in London; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine; and is a recipient of the New York NADA Artadia Prize and the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship.