Middle East Studies Program Offers Film Series

Posted: March 12, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The new Middle East Studies Program is offering a film series this semester that addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Iraq, as well as social life in Egypt. The first film, to be screened on Tuesday, March 18, is titled “Iraq in Fragments.”

The films in the series, which will be shown in the Johnson Center Cinema on the Fairfax Campus, are free and open to the public. Films are shown at 7:30 p.m.

“Iraq in Fragments,” which commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, is a work in three parts. It offers a series of intimate, passionately felt stories: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the U.S. presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied.

American director James Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

Winner of Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing awards in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival documentary competition, the film was also awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, was named Best Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2007 Academy Awards. In English, Arabic and Kurdish with subtitles in English.

Future films in the series are

April 21 — “Encounterpoint”

April 28 — “Meeting Resistance”

May 6 — “The Yacoubian Building”

The Middle East Studies Program aims to introduce students to the rich social, cultural, historical and political diversity that comprises the Middle East. For more information, contact Bassam Haddad, professor of political science in the Department of Public and International Affairs, at 703-993-2962, or bhaddad@gmu.edu.

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