Founded in 1997, the Arab Image Foundation preserves the legacy and collection of photographer Hashem el Madani and the Sheherazade photo studio. This film offers a study of the photographer’s studio practice in the mid-20th Century and exploration of the essence of archives today. Alternating between the Foundation archive and staged interventions in the artist's current studio, the film is a meditation on image making and on age itself.
"Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem (Thamaniat wa ushrun laylan wa bayt min al-sheir), the new feature-length film by artist, curator and filmmaker Akram Zaatari, mingles elements of biography and cultural history, autobiography and taxonomy to form a work that is at once acutely critical and affectionately nostalgic."
– Jim Quilty, The Daily Star Lebanon, February 13th, 2015
"The story of the studio and its role in the community [is] intertwined with close-ups of technological devices — ranging from 8mm film and radios to laptops and smartphones — that bring music, cinema, and home movies into the picture. Simultaneously, they are presented as tools through which individuals both receive culture and broadcast images of their own making."
– Museum of Modern Art, New York, Films from Here: Recent Views from the Arab World
Written and produced by Akram Zaatari
Camera: Akram Zaatari, Mark Khalifeh, Bassem Fayad
Sound recording: Karine Basha
Assistant Director: Mohammad Talaat
Editing: Jowe Harfouche
Color Grading: Belal Hibri, Rezvisual
Sound Design: Rana Eid, db Studios
Music: Nadim Mishlawi
Produced thanks to: Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, AFAC, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture