Syrian Films presented by ArteEast
Film program for the Community Partnership Exhibition: Executive (Dis)Order: Art, Displacement, & the Ban

Please join us for a special film program for Artistic Freedom Initiative’s Community Partnership Exhibtion: Executive (Dis)Order: Art, Displacement, & the Ban. This associated film program is organized by ArteEast, featuring two Syrian films – one animated short and a feature film.

The screenings will be held on December 16th and repeated on January 19th, both days at 3 pm in the museum’s theater (2nd floor, Queens Museum).

3pm: Animated Short

Jalal Maghout, Suleima
Syria, 2014, Animation, Color and B&W, 15 min.
Arabic with English subtitles

Suleima is a woman who has been a part of the Syrian revolution since its beginning. Twice detained, she states : “I’d rather die than see someone arrested without trying to help.”

3:20pm: feature film

Hala Alabdalla, Ammar Al-Beik, I Am the One who Brings Flowers to her Grave
Syria, 2006, B&W, 110 min.
Arabic with English subtitles

Conceived as a summation of life’s postponed projects, this beautifully shot
black-and-white film is a monument to humankind’s great resilience and love
of life in the face of loss, exile and death. Interviews with three Syrian
women alternate with a variety of impressions: landscape, art, family, and an
interview with painter and icon restorer Elias Zayyat. Part documentary, part
fable, this is a well-crafted, highly emotional tribute to the rejuvenating
power of poetry and beauty in general, and in particular to Da‘ad Haddad, a
Syrian poet disappeared in 1991.

Note: This film was first screened by ArteEast as part of Mapping Subjectivity:
Experimentation in Arab Cinema, 1960-Present, co-organized with The Museum
of Modern Art from 2010-2011. This film is presented as part of ArteEast’s
program Unpacking the ArteArchive with partial support from The Community
Trust and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
in partnership with the City Council.

 

Biographies:

Hala Alabdalla studied Agronomy at Damascus University, then left for France in 1981 after being detained for 14 months for political reasons. In Paris, she studied genetics and anthropology before studying cinema. She is the Director of Besieged Like Me (2016), Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013), As If We Were Catching a Cobra (2012), Hey! Don’t Forget the Cumin (2008), and I Am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave (2006). She has taken on various filmmaking roles including writing, producing, casting and production management. Alabdalla has also worked with many Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian directors, among them Omar Amiralay, Mohammed Malas and Oussama Mohammed. She has sat on the juries of many international festivals, including Venice, FID Marseille, France, Rhodes and Vision du Reel in Nyon, Switzerland.

Ammar Al-Beik, director of The Sun’s Incubator (2011) and I am the One who
Brings Flowers to her Grave (2006), is an award-winning conceptual artist and
independent filmmaker from Syria. He is based in Berlin.

Jalal Maghout is an independent filmmaker from Syria. He is currently working
on his master’s degree in Film at Film University Babelsberg as well as other
projects. Jalal has produced and directed several short animated films that were
screened at festivals around the world, including his most recent animated
documentary Suleima. Suleima has been selected for Dok-Leipzig, Stuttgart
International Festival of Animated Film and ANNECY International Animation
Film Festival. He has also served as a jury member at international film festivals
including Stuttgart and Annecy. In addition to film, Jalal has experience with
music videos, caricatures, comics and painting. Prior to moving to Berlin in 2013,
he worked as a teacher at Damascus University. Jalal holds a bachelor’s degree
in Visual Communication from Damascus University.

 

About ArteEast

Founded in 2003, ArteEast is a leading New York-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to engaging a growing audience with the contemporary arts from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and its diaspora. Through public programming, strategic partnerships, and dynamic online publications, ArteEast is a forum for critical dialogue and exchange aimed at supporting the development of a sustainable MENA art sector.

This program was made possible with partial support from The Community Trust and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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