The Six: What’s screening at Dubai’s Cinema Akil in February

What’s screening at Cinema Akil in February. (Supplied)
Updated 06 February 2019

The Six: What’s screening at Dubai’s Cinema Akil in February

DUBAI: Dubai’s artsy Cinema Akil , located in the Alserkal district, has a thought-provoking selection of films on show this February.

‘The Council’ Jordan
This documentary follows a student council election in a Palestinian primary school in Jordan where the students are keen to establish a “majlis” system that addresses inter-student and student-teacher relationships.

A film about a retired man in Cairo who begins to learn about the extinction of dinosaurs, which sets off a series of life changing events.

‘Good Morning’Lebanon
A former security general and a former doctor, both in their 80s, go to the same coffee shop every day to play crossword puzzles to avoid losing their memories to Alzheimer’s disease.

‘Wajib’ Palestine
A father and his estranged son come together to deliver his daughter’s wedding invitations to each guest as per Palestinian custom. As the pair spend the day together, details of their relationship come to light.

‘Girls of the Sun’France
A movie about a Kurdish female battalion that prepares to take back their town from extremists.

‘Screwdriver’ Palestine
After more than a decade in an Israeli jail, Ziad does not recognize the world around him in this somber film.


With Saudi roots and an Indian heart, Al-Kazi is an act the stage will never forget

Updated 21 February 2019

With Saudi roots and an Indian heart, Al-Kazi is an act the stage will never forget

  • Though an icon in India, few people know about Al-Kazi’s Saudi roots

JEDDAH: India has always been a hub of art and culture. Over the last century, movies emerged as the most expressive cultural medium, and the Indian film industry — commonly known as Bollywood — has since become a powerhouse of world cinema.

One can never do its history justice without mentioning Ebrahim Al-Kazi.

A renowned director and drama teacher, he worked as the director of the prestigious New Delhi-based National School of Drama (NSD) from 1962 to 1977, teaching many well-known future actors and fellow directors, including Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Rohini Hattangadi. He also founded the Art Heritage Gallery in New Delhi.

Though an Indian icon, however, few people know about Al-Kazi’s Saudi roots. His father, Hamad bin Ali Al-Kazi, was a trader from Unaiza in the Kingdom’s Qassim region, who subsequently settled in Pune, India, where Ebrahim was born in 1925. 

Early on in his career, Al-Kazi worked with the Bombay Progressive Artists Group, which included M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee and Tyeb Mehta, who would all later contribute to the design of his sets.

He worked in India, the US and Europe before becoming the director of the NSD, and later of the Asian Theater Institute, and is credited with staging more than 50 plays in his lifetime. He also contributes to the preservation of Indian cultural history through his Al-Kazi Foundation for the Arts.

In February 2015, Al-Kazi was honored at the second Saudi Film Festival in Dammam. He was later quoted in Arab media sources on his Saudi upbringing: “Our father was a firm believer in our cultural roots that went back to Saudi Arabia, and we spoke only Arabic at home. We had a teacher of Arabic and Islamic studies who came from Saudi Arabia, and lived as part of our family.

“Arab families (in India) did not mix very much with others, but my father had close ties with people other than Arabs,” he added.

Al-Kazi has also won many prestigious Indian awards. He was the first recipient of Roopwedh Pratishthan’s Tanvir Award in 2004 for his contribution to Indian theater, and in 1966 received the Padma Shri award. He won the Padma Bhushan award in 1991, and was given India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2010.