I've talked about Teta Alf Marra (Grandma, A Thousand Times) before, which premiered at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival last October and ended up winning the Audience Award for Best Documentary and a Jury Special Mention for its director Mahmoud Kaabour.
Since then, Teta, Alf Marra was at the Carthage Film Festival, returned to Doha to be screened at the opening of MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Arts and it will have its European premiere later this month at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam.
But the main reason I am featuring Teta, Alf Marra in this week's Trailer Tuesday is because it's finally getting its UAE premiere. It will be screened in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, 13th January at The National Theatre. It's on for one night only, but I hope more dates will be added soon.
Entrance is free and there will be free transportation provided from Dubai and back on thejamjar's ArtBus. Details on how to register and attend is added after the trailer.
Teta Kaabour is an 83-year old family matriarch and sharp-witted queen bee of an old Beiruti quarter. She’s been gripped as of late by the silence of her once-buzzing household where she raised children and grandchildren. Resigned to Argileh smoking and day-long coffee drinking on a now-empty balcony, Teta now invokes the deepest memories of her violinist husband who died twenty years ago. She claims a preparedness to re-unite with him.
Filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour, Teta’s favorite grandson and the bearer of his grandfather’s full name, has also been pre-occupied for years with the memory of his grandfather. Prior to his death, the late violinist had audio taped heart-wrenching violin improvisations in the privacy of his room in that same flat. That music, along with the details of his long career playing with the Arab world’s most famous divas, remains unpublished. The filmmaker’s anguish is compounded at the thought that this personal and cultural heritage, as well as grandma’s own stories, rare recipes, and naughty humor, will go with her when she parts this life.
“Teta, Alf Marra” brings together grandfather, grandmother, and grandson in a playful magic-realist documentary that aims to defy a past death and a future one. It documents with great intimacy the larger-than-life character of Teta Kaabour, her telling of the trials of her violinist husband and his Beirut, as well as her imaginings of what awaits her beyond death. All while the filmmaker constantly switches roles between the film’s silent creator, Teta’s grandson in front of the camera, and a re-enactor of his late grandfather. Meanwhile, the deceased violinist circles them with his seven violin improvisations that serve as the impetus of the film and its soundtrack.
Date: Thursday, 13th January 2011
Venue: The National Theathre, Abu Dhabi (location map)
If you want to go on the ArtBus from Dubai, reserve your seat by contacting one of the following:
Phone: +9714 3417303