A two-day showcase of award-winning Arab films kicks off in Dubai tomorrow night.
The films, Dreams of the City and Birds of the Nile, are being screened as part of Dubai International Film Festival’s monthly event, Film Buzz, at The Pavilion in Downtown Dubai.
The theme this month is on small-town dreams versus big-city realities, with Cairo and Damascus the two cities in focus.
Dreams of the City, by the Syrian filmmaker Mohammad Malas, will open the event tomorrow.
The film tells the story of a young widow and her two sons who are forced to move from their hometown in the country to Syria’s capital. There, her father offers little support, which forces the family to learn how to fend for themselves.
We follow the eldest of the two boys, Adib, who seeks to find his identity in the era of military coups in the country during the 50s.
The film won awards in Berlin, Valencia and Carthage.
Birds of the Nile will be screened on day two and follows the lives of a family that moves from the countryside to Cairo to make it in the big city.
The veteran Egyptian filmmaker Magdi Ahmed Ali, who built the film around Ibrahim Aslan’s novel by the same name, gives his audience a provocative insight into the political and social issues of his country’s society.
The film shows how the protagonist, Abdel Rahim, played by the actor Fathi Abdel Wahab, becomes a victim of Cairo’s tough and often fast-paced lifestyle, as he suffers from a broken heart.
Meanwhile, Abdel’s family struggles to stay afloat as they slowly become outcasts in society.
• Entry is free for the two screenings, which start at 7.30pm on both days. The event operates on a first-come, first-served basis, as seating is limited
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