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Cinema and Society in the Arab World, 3/23-3/26/06

The goal of this four-day conference is to foster a thoughtful and critical reflection about the principles of innovative aesthetic practices, social foundations, and cultural expressions in Arab cinema. The conference will approach Arab cinema as both a social and an artistic institution that affirms, contests, and reflects Arab realities in the twentieth century. In order to highlight how Arab cinema expresses but potentially also challenges dominant ideologies (literary, artistic, political, and historical) in Arab societies, the conference will focus on three themes: cinema, literature, and the arts; cinema and nationalism; and cinema and gender.

March 23, 5:00-6:30 PM: Opening reception at St. Mark’s Cathedral (across the street from the Walker Art Center). 7:00 PM: Screening of the film “Mercedes” presented by Egyptian filmmaker Yousri Narsrallah with introduction by Kathy Haddad and Dean Otto. Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker. Walker Art Center. Also sponsored by the Asian Film Collaborative, Minnesota Film Arts, and the Walker Art Center.

March 24, 3:30-5:30 PM: Panel 1, “Cinema and National Identity.” Panelists include Mohammad Bamyeh, Joseph Massad, and Michelle Stewart; Mazhar Al-Zo’by will moderate. 275 Nicholson Hall. 7:00 PM: Special screening with Syrian filmmaker Omar Amiralay, introduced by Cesare Casarino. Followed by Q&A with director. Oak Street Cinema, Minnapolis. Also sponsored by the Asian Film Collaborative, Minnesota Film Arts, and the Walker Art Center.

March 25, 2:00-4:00 PM: Panel 2, “Cinema and the Arts.” Panelists include Catherine David, Laura Marks, and Mohammad Soueid; Hisham Bizri will moderate. 275 Nicholson Hall. 4:30-6:30 PM: Panel 3, “Cinema and the Culture Industry.” Panelists include Viola Shafik, Livia Alexander, and Mazhar Al-Zo’by; Paula Rabinowitz will moderate. 275 Nicholson Hall. 7:00PM: Screening of Palestinian filmmaker Michel Khliefi’s “Route 181 (part 1),” introduced by John Mowitt. Followed by Q&A with filmmaker. Also sponsored by the Asian Film Collaborative, Minnesota Film Arts, and the Walker Art Center.

March 26, 5:00 PM: Closing reception, Institute for Advanced Study, Nolte Center Library (room 120). 6:00 PM: Screening of Tunisian filmmaker Moufida Talatli’s “Al Bahethat An Al Horeya,” followed by Q&A with the filmmaker. Oak Street Cinema, Minneapolis. Also sponsored by the Asian Film Collaborative, Minnesota Film Arts, and the Walker Art Center.

Cosponsored by The College of Liberal Arts, The Department of Anthropology, The Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, The Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, The Department of French and Italian, The Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, The Department of History, and The Institute for Global Studies.

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