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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Jan. 24, 2003

Cultural Events Film Series will feature acclaimed movies from Middle East

DEARBORN---This semester's Cultural Film Series features internationally acclaimed Middle Eastern movies. All showings are at 6:15 p.m. in Room 1030, CASL Building.

On Monday, February 10, the film Gabbeh (Iran, written and directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Farsi with English subtitles) will be shown.

An elliptical parable about female self-determination, Gabbeh revolves around a bickering elderly couple who rescue a literally magic carpet (called a "gabbeh") from the river near their house. The carpet is worked with mysterious patterns that may or may not represent two fleeing lovers. As the couple examine it, a vision of the carpet's original weaver appears, a young woman named Gabbeh. She is in love with a horseman who we see only from a distance. Prevented from joining him by her father, Gabbeh has woven the carpet to express, or possibly to bring about her hopes for the future. But as she talks with the old couple, we realize that she yearns for events that may already have come to pass.

The next film in the series, Two Women (Iran, 1999, color, 96 min., Farsi with English subtitles, directed by Tahmineh) will be shown on Monday, March 10.

Country girl Fereshteh and city girl Roya, schoolmates at Tehran University in the early 1980s, become friends. Their friendship and their innocent fun are clouded only by the presence of a young man who stalks the pretty Fereshteh demanding that she marry him. Family pressure decides Fereshteh's destiny, forcing her into a marriage with a man she doesn't love. Her friend Roya, meanwhile, is living precisely the sort of life to which Fereshteh aspires.

The final film in the series, West Beirut (1999, 105 min., directed and written by Ziad Doueiri) will be shown Monday, April 7.

Tarek, Omar and May roam the streets of the city, searching for their next adventure. Their parents worry that they are becoming too wild, but the kids don't care. This may be a common situation in many countries, but this is Beirut: a city split by the first stirrings of war. School has been shut down and the city that they love has been split in two. There is now a Christian-controlled East Beirut, and a West Beirut run by the new Muslim militia where the three friends live. For the kids, the political schism means greater freedom. But they cannot ignore the war forever.

For more information about the films, contact Moulouk Berry, visiting assistant professor of Arabic language and literature, at 313-593-1902.

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