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Control room is a rate film that is both timely and timeless: timeless because it ecplores the ancient and complex relationship between the western and Arab worlds timely because it reveals how satellite television has changed the way wars are reported- from news providers driven by the patriotism of their audiences to army information officers driven by military objectives. Control room is a seminal documentary that explores how truth is gathered presented and ultimately created by those who deliver it.System Requirements: Running Time 86 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. Rating: NR UPC: 031398169321 Manufacturer No: 16932
Startling and powerful, Control Room is a documentary about the Arab television network Al-Jazeera's coverage of the U.S.-led Iraqi war, and conflicts that arose in managed perceptions of truth between that news media outlet and the American military. Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (Startup.com) catches the frantic action at Al-Jazeera headquarters as President Bush stipulates his 48-hour, get-out-of-town warning to Saddam Hussein and sons, soon followed by the network's shocking footage of Iraqi civilians terrorized and killed by invading U.S. troops. Al-Jazeera's determination to show images and report details outside the Pentagon's carefully controlled information flow draws the wrath of American officials, who accuse it of being an al-Qaida propagandist. (The killing of an Al-Jazeera reporter in what appears to be a deliberately targeted air strike is horrifying.) Most fascinating is the way Control Room allows well-meaning, Western-educated, pro-democratic Arabs an opportunity to express views on Iraq as they see it--in an international context, and in a way most Americans never hear about. --Tom Keogh
|Alexandria Again and Forever
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The last film in Youssef Chahine's autobiographical Alexandria Trilogy stars Chahine himself as his cinematic alter ego, Yehia Mourad, completing his merging of fiction with real life and drama with psychodrama. Opening with Chahine's triumph at the Berlin Film Festival, where he took home the Silver Bear for Alexandria...Why? (the first film in the trilogy--this is layered stuff), the film explores Yehia's obsession with his young star, Amir, while participating in the general strike of 1987. As Yehia fantasizes about the films they would make together (one of them looks like a loony take on Jesus Christ Superstar), he elevates Amir from a kind of adopted son to cinematic messiah. But while caught up in the strike, Yehia becomes enchanted by a former actress turned dedicated revolutionary, and he decides to cast her in his next feature.
While this is a serious portrait of art, politics, and aesthetic inspiration, it's also a deliriously playful film full of fantasies played out like Hollywood movies. One of the loveliest moments is an old-fashioned song and dance in which the two men celebrate their Silver Bear in a snowy German street like a scene out of Singing in the Rain, while his grand daydream of an ancient Egyptian historical epic takes an unexpected turn into Keystone Cop slapstick. The mix of whimsy and wizened reflection is infectious in Chahine's exploration of the muses and visions that drive his art. --Sean Axmaker
|Afrita Hanem (The Genie Lady)
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Meet Asfour (Farid Al Atrache), a poor singer/actor who stumbles upon a magic lamp and its wish-granting genie (Samia Gamal). When he uses his new-found power to woo his gold-digging girlfriend away from her rich suitor, Asfour discovers that his genie has a few wishes of her own.
Sure to delight and entertain, this classic film stars two of Egypt's cinematic legends in an innovative and endearing blend of comedy, fantasy and musical genres. DVD EXTRAS include English and French subtitles, rare original trailer and filmographies.
|Adrift on the Nile
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In "Adrift on the Nile" we meet a group of hedonistic middle-aged friends who gather each night on a luxurious houseboat for dancing, love-making and smoking hashish. When a young news reporter visits the houseboat to write a story on the group, she is outraged to learn the tragic depths of their social alienation. Based on the novel by the Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, this 1971 production offers a revealing look at the Egyptian elite on the eve of the 1967 War. By this time, Nasser had ushered in an age of enormous social change, leaving the sons and daughters of the old bourgeoisie high and dry. Directed by Hussein Kamal, "Adrift on the Nile" features the atmospheric cinematography of Mostapha Emam and a delightful musical number in color. DVD EXTRAS include English and French subtitles, rare original trailer and filmographies.
|Fatma - Starring Umm Kulthum
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- Kerala International Film Festival
Winner!!! Best Actress & Best Sound
- Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival
- Paris Film Festival
Legendary diva Umm Kulthum stars in this classic film about a poor nurse who falls in love with the son of one of her wealthy patients. Abandoned by her husband while pregnant, she must fight her husband's wealthy and powerful family in court.
A rare treat, this film features nine of Umm Kulthum's most famous songs by composers Mohamed Al Asabgui and Riad Al Sunbati.
DVD Features:Digitally Remastered Picture and Sound Rare Original Trailer Filmographies Scene Access Audio: Arabic Subtitles: English, French
|Closed Doors, The
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- International Thessaloniki FF
- Bahrain Film Fest
- Montpellier Film Fest
Directed by Youssef Chahine's longtime assistant, The Closed Doors touches on several taboos in contemporary Egyptian society, examining their social and political implications. Set during the Gulf War, it tells the story of Mohamad, a highly impressionable young man who embraces fundamentalist ideas as a way of dealing with the confusion of adolescence and sexual awakening. This powerful first feature by one of Egypt's most promising young directors tackles complex themes like oppression, jealousy, virtue, the love ideal and violence in an uncompromising way.
DVD EXTRAS: Audio: Arabic Subtitles: English Typecast Movie Trailers Widescreen
|The Art of Flight - Director's Cut
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The Art Of Flight is a guerrilla documentary that was shot illegally in Egypt on camcorders and a laptop. The film serves as a back story to the 2006 massacre of Sudanese refugees in Cairo. The filmmaker was nearly arrested three times during the course of shooting. This feature length film tells the story of three people, a refugee from southern Sudan, a human rights activist from northern Sudan and an American journalist in self-imposed exile, all living in Cairo. For very different reasons, the trio has found themselves struggling to survive in Egypt, a U.S. financed dictatorship which has reluctantly become their home.
The Art Of Flight features artwork of Sudanese painters living in exile. In addition to paintings from Sudanese artists and torture victims, the film also features an original soundtrack by Al-Khafiyeen, a musical ensemble of refugees who played together for a single night to score the film. The film delves deep into questions about the nature of charity, the consequences of American empire and the price of silence.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Available on ITunes, eMusic, Rhapsody, Amazon.com (CD), CustomFlix.com (CD)
When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.
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|The Nightingale's Prayer
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The Nightingale's Prayer (Arabic: دعاء الكروان, translit. Doaa al-Karawan is a classical 1959 Egyptian drama film directed by Henry Barakat and based on a novel by the prominent writer Taha Hussein. It stars Faten Hamama and Ahmed Mazhar.
In 1996, during the Egyptian Cinema centennial, this film was selected one of the best 150 Egyptian film productions. It received an award of recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was selected as the Egyptian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 32nd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. It was also entered into the 10th Berlin International Film Festival.