Arab Film Fest 20

The twentieth annual Arab Film Festival opens soon in five California cities.

San Francisco 7 – 11 October 2016, Oakland 12 – 14 October 2016, Berkeley 15 – 16 October 2016, Los Angeles 21 – 23 October 2016, and San Diego 27 – 30 October 2016.

Clash directed by Mohamed Diab (Egypt) 2016 is the opening night film at the Castro Theatre. It will be preceded by a reception and followed by a party at Mercer featuring DJ Emancapacion. Subsequent San Francisco screenings will be at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.

Very Big Shot directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaya (Lebanon) 2015 is the opening night film at Harmony Gold in Los Angeles. Iraqi Odyssey is the opening film at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego.

This year’s festival includes narrative features, documentaries, and shorts from Egypt, France, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.

For more information and tickets contact Arab Film Festival.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFIFF 59

The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 21 April to 5 May 2016 at six Bay Area venues.

SFIFF59

France: The Apostate, As I Open My Eyes, Blood Of My Blood, Cowboys, Dead Slow Ahead, The Dream Of Bottom, The Innocents, Journey To The Shore, Love & Friendship, Microbe And Gasoline, Neither Heaven Nor Earth, Nephtali, No Home Movie, Phantom Boy, Suite Armoricaine, Welcome To My Life, The White Knights, Winter Song, and A Young Patriot.

Israel: Mountain, Mr. Gaga, and Presenting Princess Shaw.

Lebanon: Abu Ammar Is Coming and Very Big Shot.

Spain: The Apostate, Dead Slow Ahead, and Night Without Distance.

Turkey: Frenzy and Sept-Oct 2015 Cizne.

Also: Chevalier (Greece), Blood Of My Blood (Italy), False Start (Morocco), and As I Open My Eyes (Tunisia).

The San Francisco venues are Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, Castro Theatre, Gray Area, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre. Plus the new BAMPFA in Berkeley.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Amazigh Identity

Tamazga, the ancient homeland of the indigenous Amazigh (Berber) peoples stretched from the Canary Islands to the western edge of Egypt and includes Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania.

 amazighidentity

The conquest of this large territory during Byzantine times by Arab armies already converted to Islam unified the area in terms of a single language and religion, obscuring Amazigh origins and ignoring their mother tongue and customs.

After the Ottoman Era many Amazighen were caught between the demands of French colonialism and Arab nationalism. Marginalized by rulers determined to establish a homogenous narrative by ignoring differences, the Amazighen risk cultural extinction.

The Berber Identity Movement And The Challenge To North African States by Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, University of Texas Press 2011 provides a brief history of the Amazighen before detailing the contemporary struggle for cultural and linguistic expression.

While the Amazigh language is now being taught in Morocco, the number of native speakers continues to decline. Leaders within the Amazigh identity movement are striving for a modern, secular approach that includes women, hoping this will improve chances for a better life in the future.

This book brings into perspective the complex and difficult, ongoing fight of the Amazighen for recognition.

copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Tweet Journal

Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions by BBC economics editor Paul Mason, Verso 2012 tracks the recent upheavals throughout the world. Millions of people recently took to the street protesting injustices. Tahrir Square in Cario. Syntagma in Athens. Unrest spread through several Arab countries and European capitals. Students, workers, and pensioners all joined in to protest harsh austerity measures while politicians and economists endlessly debated how best to preserve the assets of banks and multinational corporations.

Paul Mason witnesses and reports from within and tries to make sense of it all. He interviews both the organizers and other participants. I admire his attempts to go to the source of those mass movements instead of remaining at a distance and spouting preconceived clichés. He records not only the words shouted but also includes the Twitter hashtags so that readers of his book can follow future developments in real time.

In some instances I gained a better understanding of the complaints from a journalistic perspective. But in the end I finished the book wanting more: a deeper exploration and a wiser evaluation of the situation. However, for that one must look elsewhere.

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved