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December 2012

1. THE TURTLE’S RAGE in competition in Dubai
2. GATE #5 in Munich
3. Dubai International Film Festival
4. DVD of the month – LEAVNG BAGHDAD

1. THE TURTLE’S RAGE in competition in Dubai

We are happy to announce that Pary el-Qalqili’s award winning feature length documentary THE TURTLE’S RAGE will have its MENA premiere at Dubai International Film Festival in the competition for Arab documentaries next week.

When I was 12 years old my father left us to return to Palestine. His dream to build a house and pursue the fight for freedom in Palestine failed. He was expelled by the Israelis. suddenly he was back in Berlin, ringing at our front door. My mother looked at him, did not say a word and let him in. Now he spends his days sitting in the cellar of our small row house. Withdrawn in his turtle shell. My mother lives upstairs. They are not fighting anymore. They try not to cross each other´s path. Not a sound is to be heard. Only the creaking steps of my mother on the stairs. The whirr of the television. And my nagging questions to my father.

The Turtle´s Rage tells the story of a mysterious man, whose life has been molded by flight, expulsion, life in exile and the failed return to Palestine. A torn biography which was affected tremendously by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film is composed of a daughter’s search for answers from her father. Answers he cannot give.
A road movie crossing Egypt, Palestine and Jordan. Father and daughter: Fighting at the airport. Singing with the cab drivers. Lonely nights in hotels. Negotiations at abandoned gas stations. Drinking beer in the Naqab-desert. A story traversed by many nuances, which makes it nearly impossible to think in categories like good and bad, victim and offender or black and white.
Germany 2012, 70 min, digital, German/Arabic with English subtitles

2. GATE #5 in MUNICH

Simon El Habre’s second feature length documentary will show at Werkstattkino in Munich the first week of December. Like his debut, The One Man Village, Gate #5 sees itself as a contribution to gather (hi)stories of the civil war in Lebanon.

A fascinating look at the lives of those working at one of Beirut’s busy ports (Rolling Stone Middle East)

They were young, loved adventures and had choices. In the 1960s and 70s thousands of young Lebanese left their villages and searched for a new life in the city – as countless like-minded people around the globe. The port of Beirut, the city’s economic lung and central urban district, provided work for truck drivers - a job that stressed masculinity and became a lifestyle. The income allowed the young men to participate in the vibrant urban life, to enjoy their time at the always busy Burj Square with its many cinemas and restaurants as well as to start families.
During the years of the civil war (1975-90) the drivers were needed to maintain the supply of food, goods, and sometime weapons between the divided sectors of country. Some were humble, others were heroic, yet all were adventuresomeness and felt free.
After the war ended the once popular Burj Square, the city’s centre, was demolished, privatized and rebuild for the affluent. Lebanese economy was reorganized, thus globalized. Today fancy restaurants in the new downtown charge in Dollar and sometimes in Euro.
The truck drivers’ universe shrunk to the port where they offer their skills as day laborers now. Yet mostly they kill time and take long journeys in memory. One of them, Najm El Habre, is too sick to join his friends. He found a different way to carry on.
Simon El Habre, Lebanon/UAE 2011, 84 min, color, HDCAM, Arabic with German subtitles

3. Dubai International Film Festival

Irit Neidhardt of mec film will attend the co-production market of Dubai International Film Festival from December 11th till 13th as well a sthe screenings of THE TURTLE’S RAGE on the 12th at 10pm (VOX 10-6) and FAMILY ALBUM at the 13th at 7 pm (VOX 1)


... this is a chilling insight into the nightmare of having to live with the consequence of one's actions. (Empire)

Koutaiba Al-Janabi introduces his first long feature film with a sensitive, penetrating eye... (Abu Dhabi International Film Festival web-magazine)

Baghdad in the early 2000s: Sadik, a personal cameraman to Saddam Hussein escapes Iraq. Hoping to join his estranged wife in London, he traverses several countries, is passed on from one smuggler to the next. The disappearance of his son, who did not share his father’s enthusiasm for the regime, and scenes Sadik had filmed for work, haunt him alike whilst he tries to find his way out of the omnipresent and tormenting shadows of the regime.
As footage shot by fictional Sadik, Koutaiba Al-Janabi weaves real footage from Saddam Hussein’s now accessible archive into his documentary style, slow paced fiction.

Koutaiba Al-Janabi, Iraq/UAE/UK 2010, 85 min, Arabic/Hungarian/English
Subtitles: English
PAL, no regional code

Iraq, political violence, film, propaganda, Saddam Hussein, exile

Gulf Film Festival Dubai: First Prize
British Independent Film Awards: Winner of the Raindance Award
Monaco Charity Festival: Special Jury Award

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