BASHU, THE LITTLE STRANGER (Bahram Beizai, 1986; 1989)

In the state of Khuzestan, in southwest Iran, Iraqi bombs pitilessly descend during the Iran-Iraq War. After seeing his mother burn to death, ten-year-old Bashu hides in the back of a transport truck and escapes northward, ending up in Gilan near the Caspian Sea. This is a foreign land to Bashu, who speaks Arabic, while […]

SATIN ROUGE (Raja Amari, 2002)

Drawing upon various metaphors for the divided existence that Arab women are forced into because of Arab culture’s insistence that women deny their sexuality, Tunisian writer-director Raja Amari’s charming, interesting Red Satin follows Lilia (Israeli Palestinian Hiyam Abbas, rock-solid) on her odyssey of integration and self-discovery. Since becoming a widow, housewife Lilia has focused on […]