The last CineTalk of the year will be led byMelissa Kerr Chiovenda based on her research on Hazara refugees on December 8.
Cinema Akil, Dubai’s independent cinema has partnered with Zayed University to present the last CineTalks session of the year on December 8, 2020, at 7.30 pm. The event will feature Sembra Mio Figlio/Just Like My Son (2018), an Italian-Afghanistan co-production, which will be available to registered participants for screening starting December 4, 2020.
CineTalks, Cinema Akil’s free virtual cine club was launched in March 2020 during the closure of the cinema’s venue to engage the film community through virtual screenings and group discussions on Zoom. Since then, the cinema has held five CineTalks led by artists, scholars and filmmakers.
The last CineTalk of the year will be led by Melissa Kerr Chiovenda based on her research on Hazara refugees. She will focus on the war in Afghanistan and the refugee experience in Europe. Joining the live Zoom discussion from Italy, the film’s lead actor, Basir Ahang, will discuss his experiences with the film and his perspectives as a refugee and activist.
The Zayed University and Cinema Akil partnership on CineTalks aims to bring research and conversations that usually take place inside University walls to a wider audience, via film screenings led by Zayed University professors in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Commenting on the talk, Ximena Cordova, Chair of Social Sciences at Zayed University, said: “We are excited to provoke audiences to engage in dialogues to better understand each other during these times of uncertainty, and share our love of film as a tool to embolden interpersonal connections and understanding.“
Sembra Mio Figlio/Just Like My Son (2018), directed by Costanza Quatriglio, follows Ismail and his brother Hassan, who fled the war in Afghanistan for Italy. Years later, Ismail receives a phone call from his mother who says she does not remember him. This phone call sets in motion a series of events that will force Ismail to come to terms with his conflictive past and face the impact of the war on his people.
Melissa Kerr Chiovenda is an anthropologist and an assistant professor at Zayed University. She conducted over 18 months of research in Afghanistan on the Hazaras and spent many summers working with Afghan refugees in Greece.
Basir Ahang is an Italian Hazara poet, journalist, and actor currently living in the UK. From Ghazni, Afghanistan, he was forced to seek political asylum upon receiving death threats for his journalism activities. His poetry has received international acclaim.