Gulf culture, including its music and unique ceremonies, are in the spotlight today at the fourth annual Gulf Film Festival, the home of bold, contemporary and innovative cinema from the Arabian peninsula. The festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & […]
Gulf culture, including its music and unique ceremonies, are in the spotlight today at the fourth annual Gulf Film Festival, the home of bold, contemporary and innovative cinema from the Arabian peninsula.
The festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), ends on April 20.
Saudi Arabian filmmaker Fahmi Farouk Farahat pans his camera on the wedding traditions of the Al Hijaz area in the Gulf Competition documentary A Night to Remember. The weddings usually take place on full moon nights set to the gentle sounds of a flute, as the guests walk though the old streets of Mecca.
Music is also at the heart of Arabic Fusion, an entry from the UAE, directed by Franco-German director Cyril Eberle. It explores the pillars of Arabic music and the compositions that paved the way for fusion artistes in the contemporary world.
The third documentary in the same cluster screening is an Iraqi entry, Wings of the Soul, directed by Kasim Abid. He narrates the story of the followers who gather at the tomb of the Sufi saint Sheikh Hamad Al Nil in Khartoum, Sudan, in an intimate portrayal of a forgotten world.
Other films at GFF 2011 involving music include: The Singer (Grand Cinema 4, 9.30 pm), an in-competition feature by Iraqi director Kassem Hawal, is the powerful story of a musician who is delayed on his way to the birthday celebration of the dictator and faces the despots wrath.
Iraqi director Hikmat Albaydanis Sedeqa Al Mullaya, screening at noon, narrates the eponymous tale of the enchanting female singer who symbolizes the countrys creativity. In the same cluster, watch Darkness, by Emirati director Ahmed Zain, which delves into a bygone era in the UAE to narrate the story of a postman, who draws support from his two pillars his job and his son.
From music to the pain of forced expatriation and the human side of war, two Iraqi filmmakers bring poignant documentaries to GFF 2011 to be screened at Grand Cinema. Where We Live is an entry from the US directed by Fady Hadid who was born and raised in Iraq. The film is about the Hadad family, who are forced to take asylum in the US following the violence in Iraq. It is a meditative journey defined by the most basic ideal hope.
Amer Alwans Goodbye Babylon about Sergeant Franck OFarrell, who having served three years in Babylon realizes the true intent of the war, and through his interpreter discovers a different side of Iraq, will also be screened.