The Professor is a fiction film by Tunisian director Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud. Synopsis: Tunis 1977. Khalsawi Khalil, Professor of Constitutional Law is responsible to defend the official State’s position in a period of tension between the government and the Interntional League for Human Rights. One day, Khalil learns that Houda, one of his students with whom he has an affair, has been arrested in the south of the country with two Italian journalists who came to investigate on strikes in the country’s phosphate mines.
Al Djazira (“The island”), an Algerian short directed by Amin Sidi-Boumédiene which recently won “Best Film from the Arab World” at the 2012 Abu Dhabi film festival. Below’s the trailer. Follow the film’s Facebook page for updates.
Al-khoroug lel-nahar (“Coming Forth by Day”) is an Egyptian short film written and directed by Hala Lofty (her debut) about a mother and daughter looking after their stroke-ridden husband/father. A first review in Variety sounds promising:
The film Malagasy Mankany (“Legends of Madagascar”) by Haminiaina Ratovoarivony premiers in Antananarivo later this month. It’s a drama-comedy-cum-road-movie about Malagasy youth:
Technically not a film yet to come, but an interesting campaign of films used for the 2012 Dream City event on public art in Tunis last September. “The project aim[ed] to develop and support artistic creations in public spaces in order to promote the democratisation of art and social change among ordinary citizens.” They made a series of beautiful teaser videos in different colours: pink (with a Tinariwen soundtrack), red, green, yellow, and a general trailer (with a Massive Attack soundtrack):
Mijn Vader en Van Gogh (“My father and Van Gogh”) is a film by Inès Eshun about her father Isaac who’s been living in Belgium as “an illegal immigrant” for more than 20 years. Upon leaving prison, he finds he can no longer return to the room he lived in — a room also used by painter Vincent Van Gogh when he resided in Antwerp. Using Van Gogh’s letters, Isaac’s letters and the work of artist Johan Ojo, the documentary paints an untold story:
La charia ou l’exode, réfugiés du Mali (“Sharia or exodus, the refugees from Mali”) is a documentary by Arnaud Contreras who interviewed Malians on the run for violence in their home towns/villages, “none of [whom] mention the destruction of the mausoleums of Timboctou”:
In Sen Kaddu: Autour des cinémas de Dakar, Momar Diol and Thomas Szacka-Marier interview people in Dakar about their most cherished memories of cinema and cinema halls. This project was done at the occasion of Dak’Art Off 2012, the Biennial of Contemporary African Art in Senegal.
Le Maréchalat du Roi Dieu (“The Marshalcy of King-God”) is a documentary by Nathalie Pontalier, who tells the story of André Ondao Mba from Libreville, Gabon. Mba shares a house with his two sons but he is ill, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He has been painting murals for over twenty years — containing messages and mythologies that remain opaque to many.
And LUX is a film by French photographer Sébastien Coupy about rural Burkina Faso. It’s a collage of his photos, with commentary and voice-overs by Burkinabés about the many meanings and the scarce availability of electricity, “lumière”, light, LUX. A first fragment here, and a second below: