Re: [OPE-L] Muslim influence on the West

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sat Mar 11 2006 - 12:39:12 EST

Paul Z,

Continuing on with this theme but switching medias, I want to mention
a couple of films.

1)  I saw "TEN" [Abbas Kiarostami, 2002] last night and, while it was
slow-paced (all of the scenes consisted of dialogue in a car) and
low-budget, it was well worth seeing.  A description follows:

Voted one of the "ten best films" of 2002 by Cahiers du Cinema, Ten records
ten conversations in a car between a divorced Iranian woman and a series of
passengers. Her son, honing his male privilege skills, attacks her for
divorcing his father and remarrying; her sister tearfully describes her
break-up with her long-time boyfriend; a prostitute taunts her for her
condescension; an old woman encourages her to go to her mosque; and jilted
bride tries to grapple with the remains of her life. One of the undisputed
masters of contemporary Iranian cinema, Abbas Kiarostami once again presents
a gripping portrait of modern Iran with yet another startling economy of

While the lead character was upper-class, this was a feminist film and
the dilemmas of women in contemporary Iran was the central focus. An
appropriate focus considering the fact that International Women's
Day was just a few days ago.

2.  An older film, which I *strongly* and enthusiastically recommend
is "THE LION OF THE DESERT" [Moustapha Akkad, 1981], a panoramic and
expansive (and long!) film about the resistance to the Italian
occupation of Libya under Mussilini (Rod Steiger!). The main character,
Omar Al-Mokhtar (wonderfully played by Anthony Quinn!) lead the Libyan
resistance (Jihad) to Italian occupation, 1911-1931. General Graziani,
the ruthless and arrogant Italian general, was played by Oliver Reed.
This is really an epic film (allegedly largely financed by Quadafi) but
was never distributed in many countries on a mass basis or given
the recognition it deserves.  Although it takes place during another
time, it has wonderfull contemporary relevance to struggles against
occupation in Palestine and Iraq.  Indeed, many of the tactics which were
employed by Graziani in Libya have been used by Israel against
Palestinians -- including the building of a wall (of barbed wire in Libya),
concentration camps, and collective punishment.  And, more to the point,
there is a wonderful dialogue in a tent between Mokhtar and Italian
"negotiators" about the basis in the Koran for why Muslims *must* fight
for their land no matter how long it takes (generations even) or how
many freedom fighters must die in defense of their rights.

Both films are available in VCR or DVD form.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Mar 12 2006 - 00:00:01 EST