In The Last Days Of The City directed by Tamer El Said (Egypt) 2016 is one of the highlights of the 20th annual Arab Film Festival.
This haunting narrative feature attempts to cover the mood in Cairo just before the popular uprising that toppled the Hosni Mubarak regime.
Khalid, a young video maker, and his friends gather material for a documentary he is making about the city and other trouble spots in the area. While the main focus is on Egypt, there are also references to Beirut and Bagdad as well.
The film will screen again Sunday evening 16 October 2016 at the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley. For more information and tickets contact Arab Film Festival.
copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved
Levant by Philip Mansel, Yale University Press 2011, focuses on the Twentieth Century destruction of three notable Mediterranean cities. Smyrna, Alexandria, and Beirut were once cosmopolitan centers where people of various cultures interacted in a seemingly harmonious environment. They were urban centers that flourished for a time before being torn apart by ethnic and religious rivalries.
Mansel reveals the underlying causes leading to their eventual fall. Chief among them were the Northern European colonial interventions and disdain for the native peoples living there. Old empires eventually gave way to the increasing pressures of nationalism. The wealthy moved to safer places while those less fortunate remained behind.
Sadly, residents of the region still suffer from not only the indignities of the past but also the injustices of the present.
copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved