In this episode, Fariha and Kiva use the “Muslim ban” put in place by U.S. President Trump as a jumping-off point to highlight some of the exceptional filmmakers working in the seven countries affected by the Executive Order. They discuss Iraqi filmmaker Hussein Hassan’s decision not to bring his documentary THE DARK WIND to the Miami Film Festival because of the ban. Asghar Farhadi, similarly, opted not to attend the Academy Awards despite the Best Foreign Language Film nomination for THE SALESMAN. They discuss the importance of being an ally to these filmmakers, and the role that programming and criticism can play.
Not to mention the importance of simply seeing these films, and telling your friends to see them too. Film is powerful at a moment like this, Fariha and Kiva believe, because of the humanizing effect of experiencing stories about real people's lives from regions which are often considered by the news media solely in terms of politics or conflict.
Listen in to find out about some filmmakers to watch from these seven countries:
Iran: Asghar Farhadi, THE SALESMAN, A SEPARATION (and a shout out to actor Golshifteh Farahani)
Iraq: Mohamed Al-Daradji, SON OF BABYLON
Atia Al Daradji and Mohamed Al-Daradji, IN MY MOTHER’S ARMS
Somalia: Fathia Absie, BROKEN DREAMS
Sudan: Atak Ngor, ATAK’S FILM
Libya: Various Directors, LIBYA IN MOTION
Yemen: Sara Ishaq, KARAMA HAS NO WALLS, THE MULBERRY HOUSE
Syria: Diana El Jeiroudi, DOLLS: A WOMAN FROM DAMASCUS
Kerry James Marshall is expanding the canon with his latest show at the Met: http://theartnewspaper.com/news/museums/kerry-james-marshall-makes-his-picks-from-the-met-s-collection/
At the Miami Film Festival, Hussein Hassan protested the ban by cancelling his visa application: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/iraq-filmmaker-protests-trump-muslim-ban-withdraws-visa-application-miami-film-festival-1201774530/
If you are in Toronto, check out Hot Docs’ Ban This Series, a free screening series of documentaries from the banned countries: http://www.hotdocscinema.ca/responsive/content/ban_this_series