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Laila and the Wolves + Ismael - Eye On Palestine Laila and the Wolves + Ismael

Laila and the Wolves + Ismael

Films followed by a Q&A with director Heiny Srour

Laila and the Wolves

Heiny Srour

Fiction | 90′ | 1984

Arabic  with English subtitles

Having survived numerous Beirut bombings, Leila’s resilience is intended to symbolize the endurance of all Lebanese women. The “wolves,” in this instance, are of the human variety: male predators who continue to rattle sabres and wage wars, no matter the price the innocent must pay. Curiously, while offering a feminist viewpoint, the film implies that the “liberated” Lebanese woman is more a part of the problem than a part of the solution.

Laila and the Wolves

The Paris-based Lebanese director Heiny Srour was the first female Arab filmmaker to have one of her works, The Hour of Liberation (1974) about the guerrilla war in Oman, selected for the Cannes Film Festival. Although the film earned international acclaim, it was banned in most Arab countries. Prior to becoming a daring director, Srour studied social anthropology in Paris where she then worked as a journalist and film critic. It was there that her interest in Third World cinema began to blossom. In one interview she said: “Those of us from the Third World have to reject the ideas of film narration based on the 19th century bourgeois novel with its commitment to harmony. Our societies have been too lacerated and fractured by colonial powers to fit into those neat scenarios”. It took her seven years to finish her next film, Leila and the Wolves (1984), during which she often had to work in dangerous situations. Leila and the Wolves makes an examination of the role of Arab women, often hidden, in contemporary Palestine and Lebanon, told with a structure similar to the ‘Arabian Nights.’

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Ismael

Nora Al Sharif

Short | 38′ | 2013

Arabic with English subtitles

Inspired by a day in the life of Palestinian painter Ismail

Shammout (1930-2006), Ismail tells the compelling story of a young Palestinian struggling to support his parents after their expulsion to a Refugee camp in 1948 by the Israeli forces. Despite the wretched life and distressing conditions he holds to his dream to go to Rome to learn painting. One day and after selling cakes at the train station with his little brother, they heedlessly enter a minefield. As Ismail faces death, and in his struggle to save himself and his brother, we discover his true spirit.

See more info about the film at www.ismailfilm.com