Panorama of Iraqi Cinema: Shorts + “Life After the Fall” by Kasim Abid

"Life After the Fall"
Thursday, March 21, 2013
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Post Tags: eloquence, iraq, post-war, recovery, and war. Categories: Screening.
Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver St., 4th Floor, (between Broad & Broadway), Lower Manhattan
Admission: $10 at the door ($5 for Students, Seniors, & Alwan members)

3rd i NY is proud to partner with Alwan for the Arts for the film screening portion of Eloquence: A Festival of Iraqi Culture. A presentation of recent Iraqi shorts will be followed by feature documentary presentation of Kasim Abid’s “Life After the Fall.”

Iraqi culture is of world significance. Though mostly considered in the context of the recent war—and this March marks the tenth anniversary of the U.S. and its allies’ invasion—Iraq deserves a radically different place and representation. From talented instrumentalists drawing on millennia of technique, and vocalists with an encyclopedic knowledge of complex traditions, to strikingly contemporary architects and writers, Iraq has nurtured and harbored a continuous, broad-minded stream of creative individuals of the highest caliber and global significance.

This March, to highlight this striking fact and shift prevailing conversations around Iraq, New York’s Alwan for the Arts is presenting a groundbreaking Eloquence: A Festival of Iraqi Culture in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. John the Divine, and Alwan’s loft space in lower Manhattan (March 9-27, 2013). 

Doors Open at 6pm

Shorts screenings begin at 630pm

What If by Jassim Mohammed Jassim /Animation /Iraq / 2012/ 3 mins

CHARCOAL AND ASHES By Hussein Mohsen /Short /Iraq/ 2011/ 7 mins

Speak Your Mind by Imad Ali /Iraq //Short /2011 /15 mins

The Widow by Hassanin Al-Hani /Short /Iraq/2011/15 mins

Sing Your Song by Omar Falah, Short /Iraq, /2011 /15 mins

Brief Intermission

"Life After the Fall"

Life After the Fall by Kasim Abid Documentary | Iraq | 2008 | 100 min.

This award-winning documentary eloquently depicts the lives of director Kasim Abid’s family in Iraq following the American invasion. Abid returns to his native country after a 30-year absence and is greeted by jubilant family members with high hopes for the post-Saddam future. But over the course of four years, hopes are dashed and despair sets in as the family watches the violence and vigilantism that has beset daily life in Baghdad. Bullets and bombs, kidnapping and gas shortages, unemployment and sectarian violence characterize their stressful, fragmented lives. The filmmaker artfully chronicles the quotidian life of the Abid family against history-making events such as the first democratic elections and the trial of Saddam Hussein. Without an end in sight, we watch as the Abid family members individually take steps to ensure their own survival amidst the prolonged state of chaos.

Kasim Abid holds Diploma from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, and MA from Moscow Film Institute VGIK and has lived in London since 1982. He has worked as a cameraman for Channel 4, BBC and other British satellite stations. For six years he worked as the Head of Documentary programs at the Arab channel MBC, followed by the Head of the camera department at ANN. He directed and produced award-winning Naji Al Ali: Artist With Vision (London Arab Film Festival 2000), Surda Checkpoint (Iraqi short film festival 2005) and Life After The Fall (Doc Fest Munich 2008). In 2003, in co-founded an Independent Film and TV College in Baghdad, where he conducts media training for Iraqi filmmakers www.iftvc.org In the latest years, Kasim has been jury member at Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2010. Director of two festivals in Iraq, Documentary Film Festival www.dffiq.com 2011and Baghdad Eye-Human Rights Film Festival www.baghdadeye.org 2012

ABOUT THE SHORTS

What If by Jassim Mohammed Jassim /Animation /Iraq / 2012/ 3 mins

The animation short film is a sweet and dreamy exploration into the possibility of living in peace.

Jassim Mohammed Jassim graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad. He worked as a cartoonist and directed ‘Al-Meftah’, an animation that won top prize at the Iraq Short Films Festival (2005). He also directed ‘So What?’ that won 3rd Prize at GFF 2010.

CHARCOAL AND ASHES By Hussein Mohsen /Short /Iraq/ 2011/ 7 mins

The film presents the destruction of Iraq’s natural environment as trees are felled for coal. The film also reflects on the Iraqi economy and people’s reasons for cutting trees – to escape poverty and hunger.

Speak Your Mind by Imad Ali /Iraq //Short /2011 /15 mins

Iraqi journalists have paid an enormous price for their defense of freedom of expression and thought. Since 2003, 253 journalists of Iraqi origin have been killed, reflecting the tragedies journalists have lived through in the shadow of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq. The film explores the experiences of 3 Iraqi journalists: Ibrahim Jassam, who was arrested by US forces and spent a year and a half in their prisons without being charged, Ibrahim Al Katib who was completely paralysed when shrapnel from a car bomb entered his brain and Kowthar who was kidnapped and constantly received death threats and in the end was forced to leave Iraq in November 2010

Emad Ali studied in the Cinema Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad. In 2006/7 he participated in the second documentary course at the Independent Film and TV College in Baghdad. He made his film, A CANDLE FOR THE SHABANDAR CAFÉ, on this course. During the filming, he was injured, but eventually recovered. His film won third prize in the Student Documentary section of the 2008 Gulf Film Festival in Dubai and he has gone on to make another film, SPEAK YOUR MIND.

The Widow by Hassanin Al-Hani /Short /Iraq/2011/15 mins

Iraq is a country of widows and orphans, almost without parallel. There are about 3 million widows and most of them live below the poverty line because they do not know how to obtain social welfare payments from the state. The film is a portrait of a poor woman from the city of Kerbala, who lost her husband to sectarian violence, and was left with her children, to try to live and face life’s problems on her own.

Hassanian Al-Hani is from Kerbala. He studied in the Cinema Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad. In 2006/7, he participated in the second documentary course at the Independent Film and TV College in Baghdad, during which he made his film, A STRANGER IN HIS OWN COUNTRY. He now lives in Kerbala and works as a director and presenter at various TV stations in the area and has made new films, among them THE WIDOW.

Sing Your Song by Omar Falah, Short /Iraq, /2011 /15 mins

Majid is a talented young singer of Iraqi folk music. Working in southern Iraq can be a daunting challenge for musicians and we discover how Majid and his band persist with their passion against all odds.

Omar Falahwas born in Iraq and studied cinema at the Academy of Fine Arts, Baghdad University. He has participated in filmmaking workshops tackling human rights. ‘Sing Your Song’ is his first documentary. Omar currently works as a director in one of Iraqi’s TV stations.

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