– Why is there only talk about refugees? We could speak about the other aspects of the Arabic cultures, the artist, the writers. It would help people to better understand the Arabic culture, said writer Hassan Blasim in an interview for Reunamedia.

At the same time Tampere Film festival got the idea to show a collection of movies from Arabic countries. In the middle of the refugee crisis we seem to have forgotten that the area consist more than 20 countries, it has a lot more to offer than veiled women and religious fanatics.

The screenings have a strong female point of view. One of the protagonist is just a 5-year old Tunisian Amira. In the film Wooden Hand she glues herself to a chair so she could avoid going to school. Directed by Khadija Ben-Fradjin, Courber l’echine‘s Chaima longs for freedom from her traditional muslim family. When the young lady wants to go to a forrest party instead of staying at home, she finds a way.

Eye & Mermaid from Qatar takes us into a fantasy world. The film got it’s inspiration from the Syrian tale of mermaid-goddess Atargatis. The fisherman’s daughter wants to go with his dad to dive pearls. When she doesn’t get to go, she secretly follows the men. The tale behind the treasures of the sea isn’t as pretty as one would think.

The Lebanese On the Robes follows a more traditional narrative, the expectations and tensions of a family gathered together for dinner. Submarine is a story of one woman’s rebellion in the middle of the Beirut garbage crisis.

The only documentary in the screenings is Gamboo3a Revolution that addresses the hair trends of arabic women, especially the beehive hairdo that is know in the western world as the late Amy Winehouse‘s tardemark. Of course in the United Arab Emirates the hive is hidden under the hijab.

The feature film Le challat de Tunis is based on actual events. In 2003 a man drove around on a motorbike in Tunis with a knife in his hands cutting any woman that he didn’t think was appropriately dressed. Years later filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania decided to look up the culprit. As a result a film was made that is best described as a mystery mockumentary.

Other Arabia 1
Fri 10.03 8pm Niagara
Sat 11.03 10 pm Plevna 6

Other Arabia 2
Fri 10.3 2 pm Plevna 6
Sat 11.3 12 noon Plevna 6

Le challat de Tunis
Wed 08.03 8 pm Niagara