Middle East

2007
Six Years Later

Ireland, October 20th 2007

The filmmaker returns to the city where he made the first video in the series and looks back at the events of the past six years.

Six Years Later is the eighth episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world’s hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

2008
Skim Milk & Soft Wax

Skim Milk & Soft Wax explores Jewish identity from the point of view of the American filmmaker, who was raised to believe that Israel is the "land of milk and honey". However, the realities of her personal experiences of Israel collide with that Edenic image. Instead, the state of Israel is complex, shape shifting, and often disappointing. Therefore: skim milk — a substance of reduced nutritional value, but which still lives in the name of "milk". And wax, the stuff of religious offerings, which is always ready to change its shape.

2016
Adriene Jenik "The Sky is Falling"

The Sky Is Falling... is part of an ongoing series of performances that make up The Data Humanization Project.

2015
Nadav Assor, Strip / Musrara

Strip / Musrara is part of Assor's ongoing “Strip” series, set in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighborhood. It is an attempt to create a living map that is both collective and subjective – a plurality of combined perspectives. Not a map of the exact measurements of the neighborhood, but of the experience of moving through it, together and alone, locals and strangers, intersecting and drifting apart.

2012
The Sun Glows Over the Mountains

A wistful film on the love of homeland.

Video artist Nurit Sharett recounts her childhood memories and converses with her Palestine-born parents who grew up in the British Mandate years.  They both took part in realizing the Zionist dream of establishing the State of Israel, a dream now shattered before their eyes.

2007
Take into the air my quiet breath

In 1966, the Syrian government's Ministry of Endowments solicited plans for a building to replace a 14th-century Mamluk mosque in Martyr's Square in the center of Damascus. A young architect proposed a design for a 5-star hotel and new mosque. In 1971, his plans were scrapped. In 1982, a building began to be built. Hospital? Parking garage? Military housing? The project--now called the Basel al-Asad Center--has been the subject of much rumor and speculation. As of 2007, the building remains unfinished.

1993
Talaeen a Junuub (Up to the South)

An oblique, albeit powerful documentary that examines the current conditions, politics, and economics of South Lebanon. The tape focuses on the social, intellectual, and popular resistance to the Israeli occupation, as well as conceptions of "the land" and culture, and the imperiled identities of the Lebanese people. Simultaneously, the tape self-consciously engages in a critique of the documentary genre and its traditions.

1996

An episode from a Lebanese TV series entitled Image + Sound.  Each episode in this groundbreaking program was based on paralleling TV news images alongside staged events. This episode was shot at the St. Georges church in Beirut before its renovation.

2009
The Four Chambered Heart, Filipa César

In 1959, Jean Rouch directed the film La Pyramide Humaine. Situated between fiction and documentary, Rouch’s work presents his attempts to initiate a debate between two groups of students from the Ivory Coast, a white group and a Black group. A precursor to cinéma vérité, this often forgotten film served as the starting point of The Four Chambered Heart.

2003
This Day (al yaoum)

Shot in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, this essay uses transportation, video, and photography to examine images circulating in a historically charged, and presently war-torn and divided, Middle East. From images of camels in the desert to images of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the video looks at states of mind in relation to actual geographies. The video pays tribute to an unformatted and open-ended documentary approach, and examines modes of access to information such as travel, television and the Internet, while carefully displaying the resulting iconography.

1994
This Is Not Beirut (There Was and There Was Not)

This Is Not Beirut is a personal project that examines the use and production of images and representations of Lebanon and Beirut, both in the West and in Lebanon itself. It also records Salloum’s interactions and experiences while working in Lebanon, focusing on this representational process by a Westernized, foreign-born Lebanese mediator with cultural connections to and baggage from both the West and Lebanon.

2016
This Was Home

This Was Home is comprised of three channels, which present three generations of the artist’s family. On one screen Levy presents her maternal grandfather, Karl Ribstein, another shows her father, Yossi Levy, and the third presents the artist herself. Levy documented each of these protagonists on a journey back to their childhood city and to the home where they grew up, which they had not revisited since having to leave it in their childhood.

2009
Tin Drum Trilogy

Paul Chan's Tin Drum Trilogy includes the highly acclaimed single channel videos RE:_THE OPERATION (2002, 27:30, U.S., color, sound), BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (2003, 51:00, U.S., color, sound), and Now promise now threat (2005, 33:00, U.S., color, sound).

In addition, this new DVD box set includes audio commentary by Paul Chan and VDB Director Abina Manning. An accompanying monograph includes title descriptions, artist's biography and newly commissioned contextualizing essays by Dierdre Boyle and Yates Mckee.

2005
Toi Waguih (You, Waguih)

This film is the result of an intimate time spent between the filmmaker, who lives today in Belgium, and his father who is a former political prisoner. It looks at the complex political system of Egypt under Nasser.

This title is only available on Radical Closure.

2004
Untitled

Amidst growing discussions on the headscarf issue, the President of Turkey was holding the annual Republic Day Ball at the Presidential Palace. For the reception he sent one-person invitations to the members of the Parliament whose majority was held by the Islamic Democrats. This was his strategy to prevent their wives, who would naturally wear headscarves, from attending the night. I was outraged by this conservative secularism and wanted to express my personal protest, embodying the stress on the contemporary Islamic body. --Köken Ergun