Reshaping Our World: Cinema Without Borders
“Images capture our world, but they also help to create it by providing shapes and textures and informing how we engage with people, politics, and everyday life. In this film series, we bring images from the past and present to the screen, pictures of people and places in the Middle East and Africa that imagine the world we want to live in, while also reflecting the one we already know,” says Michelle Baroody, Mizna’s Arab Film Festival director.
As global borders close and millions are displaced, the Walker and Mizna—an Arab American arts organization—join to present Reshaping Our World: Cinema Without Borders, a summer film series that considers the world’s restricted landscapes and people, those currently threatened by war, international intervention, and xenophobia. In solidarity with the majority Muslim countries recently targeted by US foreign policy and the immigrants and refugees from Minnesota communities, Mizna and the Walker coprogrammed a series of films from Africa and the Middle East. The selections draw from the rich tradition of filmmaking in these regions, both classic and contemporary films that redefine and reshape the landscape of stereotyped representations through cinematic technique and storytelling.
Celebrating Arab, Afro-Arab, and Iranian cinema on Wednesday nights in July and August, the series will include classics such as Tewfik Saleh’s Syrian-Egyptian masterwork The Dupes (Al-makhdu’un) (1972) and Dariush Mehrjui’s staple of the Iranian New Wave The Cow (Gaav) (1969) as well as contemporary films such as Musa Syeed’s A Stray (2016), a locally made shorts series by Somali youth titled Rumee (2016), and short films from Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan.
Reshaping Our World: Cinema Without Borders is copresented with Mizna, a Twin Cities nonprofit arts organization that promotes contemporary expressions of Arab American culture.