Skip to main content

Middle East Language Feature Films in Leavey Library (DVDs): Arabic Titles (A-K)

Arabic Titles (A-K)

Al abwab al moghlaka = Les portes fermées
"Set during the time of the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, Mohamad is an Egyptian boy in his early teens. Confused and disheartened by his life, failing in school, with an absentee father and a mother who struggles to earn a poor living as a housemaid, he is increasingly drawn to embrace Islamic fundamentalism as a seeming solution to the uncertainty of adolescence, his sexual awakening, and limited future. As Mohamed becomes increasingly tied to the philosophies and apparent friendships of his new fundamentalist teachings, the film illustrates the strong pull that fundamentalism can exert on impoverished and disempowered youth."

Ali Zaoua
"Ali, Kwita, Omar and Boubker are a group of street urchins living in the hard streets of Casablanca. Their everyday lives are filled with violence, begging, and indifference. In order to survive, they create a bond of friendship and family between them. The bond is cut short when Ali is senselessly killed at the beginning of the film; his life taken by a single act of a rival gang. Ali's friends decide not to report his death to the police, but rather to bury him 'like a prince.' Ali Zaoua captures the power of dreams and presence of hope in the harshest of circumstances."

As I Open My Eyes 
"Farah, eighteen years old, has just graduated and her family already sees her as a future doctor. She doesn't think the same way. She sings in a political rock band. She has a passion for life, gets drunk, discovers love and her city by night against the will of her mother Hayet, who knows Tunisia and its dangers too well."

al-Āʻsār  = Le tourbillon = The Tornado
"Story of the impact of the Lebanese Civil War upon Akram, a young Lebanese student, who returns to Lebanon to visit his mother. But can he get to his home village? While initially alienated by the war, he quickly finds himself an active participant."

Bāb al-Ḥadīd = Cairo Station
"A story of unrequited love amongst the working poor, set in a Cairo railroad station."

Bābā ʻAzīz: le prince qui contemplait son âme
"The story of a blind dervish named Bab'Aziz and his spirited granddaughter, Ishtar. Together they wander the desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes that takes place just once every thirty years. With faith as their only guide, the two journey for days through the expansive, barren landscape. To keep Ishtar entertained, Bab'Aziz relays the ancient tale of a prince who relinquished his realm. As the tale of the prince unfolds, the two encounter other travelers with stories of their own."

Baʻīdan ʻan al-ard
"A divorced woman meets a new man during an ocean voyage from Egypt to Tunisia."

Barakat! = Enough!
"The story of two women. Emel is a Westerner whose husband, a journalist, is missing - perhaps kidnapped or even killed. Khadija is an older woman who has lived through the country's decades-long struggle. Together they search for Emel's husband."

Bikur ha-Tizmoret = The Band's Visit
"The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra arrives in Israel from Egypt for a cultural event. Once there, they find the expected delegation is not there to meet them. Arrangements to get to their destination of Petah Tiqva have not been taken care of either. They find their own ride and arrive instead at the remote town of Beit Hatikva. Stuck there until the next morning's bus, the band, lead by the repressed Tawfiq Zacharaya, gets help from the worldly lunch owner, Dina, who offers to put them up for the night. As the band settles in the best it can, each of the members attempts to get along with the natives in their own way. What follows is a special night of quiet happenings and confessions as the band makes its own impact on the town and the town on them."

Borderless
"A young boy lives alone on an abandoned ship harbored along the stretch of an unnamed war-torn border. The boy's solitary existence is torn apart when a young refugee appears in search of shelter, carrying an infant.

Captain Abu Raed
"An airport janitor makes a big difference in the lives of the children in his poor neighborhood when they mistake him for an airplane pilot. Using his imagination to weave stories of the wonderful places he has visited around the world, a friendship develops as he brings hope to their otherwise grim home life."

Caramel = Sukkar banāt
"A Beirut beauty salon becomes a treasured meeting place for several generations of women who meet there daily. The women come from various walks of life, to talk, seek advice and confide in one another. Each has their own quirks and problems that they must deal with."

Chronicle of the Years of Embers =  Waqao sanawat al-djamr
"...portrays Algeria's struggle for independence from French colonial rule. The story follows a peasant's migration from his drought-stricken village to his eventual participation with the Algerian resistance movement, just prior to the outbreak of the Algerian War of Independence."

Le Collier perdu de la colombe = The Dove's Lost Necklace
"A story set in the ancient deserts and settlements of Tunisia. While studying Arabic calligraphy from a grand master, Hassan comes across a fragment of rare manuscript. He sets off in search of the missing pieces, believing that once he finds them, they will reveal all the secrets of love. Hassan meets Aziz, Princess of Samrakand, who aids him in his research. The two encounter wars, a battle between false prophets and face an ancient curse in their hunt for the missing manuscript."

For My Father
"Tarek is a young Palestinian who has been blackmailed into a suicide mission. When the device does not explode Tarek must wait for its repair and live among the people he planned to kill. He meets beautiful Keren and feels the urge to live his life. Now he faces the most important decision he will ever make."

The Kite = Le cerf-volant = Tayyara min warrak
"Set in the Druze area of the Golan Heights known as the Valley of Laments and Tears, the story is a combination coming of age struggle for freedom and amplified Romeo and Juliet. The scenario matching 15-year old Lamia (Flavia Bechara) with 17-year old Israeli soldier Youssef (Maher Bsaibes) fits well with Sabbag's tale of lovers living in limbo on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Both are Druze, separated by arbitrary physical boundaries and long-standing religious and cultural traditions."