Arab Films

The 22nd San Francisco Arab Film Festival screens 12 – 21 October 2018.


This year’s opening night film is Heaven Without People directed by Lucien Bourjeily (2017) Lebanon.

Subsequent narrative and documentary features will screen at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco and the New Parkway in Oakland.

The festival includes work from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and the US.

For more information and tickets contact Arab Film And Media Institute.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved


Personal Invite

Wajib directed by Annemarie Jacir (2017) Palestine offers a glimpse of Christian Arab daily life in Israel.


Shadi, a young Palestinian living in Italy, returns home to Bethlehem to help with preparations for his sister’s wedding.

He accompanies his father to deliver all the invitations by hand. Their interactions as they drive from house to house reveal some of their personal differences and their subsequent visits with friends and family only highlight the issues that divide them.

Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to overcome is the stark contrast between those who still live as part of a minority in the place their ancestors have lived for generations and those who chose or were forced to live somewhere else.

Wajib screens again Friday 3 August 2018 at Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael and Saturday 4 August 2018 at Piedmont Theatre, Oakland during San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 38.

For more information and tickets contact Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved


Arab USA

May In The Summer directed by Cherien Dabis (Jordan/USA/Qatar) 2013 is about an American woman who goes to Amman, Jordan for her wedding. Delays, complications, and family drama threaten to undermine what initially seemed a sensible decision.

It was the opening-night film of the 18th Annual Arab Film Festival in San Francisco and will screen again 22 November 2014 at the Museum Of Photographic Art in San Diego.


The Citizen directed by Sam Kadi (USA) 2013 focuses on the experiences of a Lebanese man who arrives in New York hopeful of beginning a new life there. Unfortunately he lands at JFK the day before 9/11 and is repeatedly challenged despite his good deeds.

Both films deal sensitively with cross-cultural issues. The first from an independent perspective, the second one more mainstream. I recommend these two films.

The Arab Film Festival continues this week in San Francisco venues and then moves to Berkeley, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego. For program information and tickets contact the AFF web site.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

No Return

Arabani directed by Adi Adwan (Israel) is about a man who returns to the Druze village he left after the dissolution of his marriage to a Jewish Israeli woman.


He, his teen daughter and son face many ethnic and religious obstacles.The challenges of reintegration into a traditional community are perilous. The residue of past grievances only complicates the situation

This film will screen two more times during the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 34.

For more information and tickets contact SFJFF.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved