Arab Filmmakers of the Middle East: A Dictionary by Roy Armes

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By Roy Armes

During this landmark dictionary, Roy Armes information the scope and variety of filmmaking around the Arab center East. directory greater than 550 function motion pictures through extra than 250 filmmakers, and brief and documentary movies via one other 900 filmmakers, this quantity covers the movie creation in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and the Gulf States. An advent via Armes locates movie and filmmaking traditions in the sector from early efforts within the silent period to state-funded productions through remoted filmmakers and politically engaged documentarians. half 1 lists biographical information regarding the filmmakers and their function motion pictures. half 2 information key characteristic movies from the nations represented. half three indexes feature-film titles in English and French with information about the director, date, and state of foundation.

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The three thousand plus Egyptian feature films produced since the 1920s amount to three times the number produced in all the rest of the Arab world put together and, in terms of box office receipts, the gap is far wider still. But there has been a continuous tradition of filmmaking in both the Arab east (the Mashreq) and the Arab west (the Maghreb) since independence, tentative at first, but well established by the 1960s and 1970s and often flourishing in the last decade. In terms of output, at around five hundred feature films in total, the cinemas of the Mashreq (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Jordan) are broadly comparable to those of the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia), and their shared characteristics, as well as the differences between them, are instructive.

35 Unsurprisingly, there is little film production in Syria before 1970: one feature in the 1940s, two in the 1950s, and just five in the 1960s. Syrian cinema of the time was best known for the comedies starring Dureid Lah- Arab Filmmakers of the Middle East 12 The Night (1992, Syria) Mohamed Malas’s second feature film, The Night, is the first part of a projected trilogy, of which his first feature, City Dreams (1984), forms the second stage. The third part, Cinema al-Dunya, has not been realized.

It seemed difficult to imagine a bleaker period for the Palestinians than the 1970s. Yet, from the 1980s, the Israelis increased their pressure on the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which they had occupied and administered since the 1967 war. ”63 But the very brutality of their efforts had the opposite effect: it fostered the Palestinians’ sense of national identity and led to the emergence of two groups violently opposed to Israel’s very existence, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In 1987, the oppression sparked off spontaneous protests, particularly by the young and by children, which became known as the intifada, which resulted in 626 Palestinian deaths, with 37,500 wounded and 40,000 arrested.

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