Taking place in Israel, the film starts out with an introduction by an Israeli who grew up having nothing in common with his brothers. He ends up taking an interest in his cranky Arabic-speaking Jewish grandmother who spends her time watching TV, specifically Egyptian films.
It’s revealed that huddling around the TV and watching Egyptian movies on the Sabbath then became a tradition in the family. Arabic films were shown to be very musical and upbeat. The host talks about other subjects of his grandmother’s life and other fans of Arabic movies who have their own interesting stories. They talk about traditions in their family, favourite stars, and what caused them to react. In between, footage from many of the old movies is shown, as the main focus is on the history of how Egyptian movies were becoming well known through Israel even though the two countries were enemies. Arabic movies had subtitles for a while, only to get removed because someone in charge didn’t approve of Bi-Nationality.
A lot of interesting facts were shown in this documentary, mainly about Israel. Not only about lifestyle, but interest in movies in general. Arabic movies mainly consisted of songs and parody to amuse people and make them enjoyable for everyone. The interviews provided a lot of interesting stories about the culture, the movie scenes were pretty interesting even if the humour didn’t make much sense to me, and the whole concept was a fantastic learning experience.
Check this out at the TJFF, Monday May 9, 3pm over at Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk 6 or Friday May 13 1 pm at Alliance Francaise.