The Tasaamuh Film Series at Manarat Al Saadiyat

The Tassamuh Film Series: Paths of Tolerance is a new film screening program that will take place in October and December at Manaret Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. It is curated by Dr. Nezar Andary and Dr. Ximena Cordova from Zayed University and is organised and presented by the university in collaboration with Manarat Al Saadiyat and the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.

It is the “Year of Tolerance” in the UAE this year and this is the first program / event I’ve seen related to this theme which feels relevant and challenging. The series is split into 4 topics, Tolerance and Poverty, Superstition and Reason, Tolerance, Refugees and Humour, Colonial Encounters. Each screening will be followed by a discussion with faculty members from the university and a couple of screenings will include the filmmakers too.

The screenings will take place in Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi and are free to attend (you can register by sending an email to

If you live in or near Abu Dhabi and if you want to feed your mind and participate in engaging discussions, then don’t miss these screenings.


Sunday, October 27th at 7.30pm

Distant Thunder
Director: Satyajit Ray
India | 1973 | 101 min | Bengali with English subtitles | PG-15

Distant Thunder_Satyajit Ray.jpg

At the onset of the 1942-43 Bengal famine, Gangacharan, a local Brahmin (Soumitra Chatterjee) attempts to preserve his privileged situation in the village, while his generous wife, Ananga (Babita), conversely tries her best to help and support the community.

Post screening discussion with Dr. Habibul Khondker (Professor of Sociology, Zayed University) and Bengali filmmaker and UN consultant, Suvra Chakrabortty about tolerance and poverty.



Wednesday, October 30th at 7.30pm

Director: Benjamin Christensen
Denmark | 1922 | 105 min | Swedish Intertitles and English Subtitles | PG-15


Benjamin Christensen’s groundbreaking film explores medieval European witchcraft through the contemporary lens of 1920s psychoanalytic theory. A fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe.

Post screening discussion with Dr. James Redman (Zayed University) examining the pioneering vision of Benjamin Christensen.



Friday, December 6th at 7.00pm

Counting Titles
Director: Cynthia Choucair
Lebanon | 2018 | 87 min | Arabic with English Subtitles | PG-15


A group of clowns travel to the Greek island of Lesvos on a mission to bring laughter to the waves of refugees crossing the sea to escape from war and enter Europe. Unwittingly, the clowns find themselves greeted with closed gates witnessing the effects of new policies enacted by the European Union towards the refugees. Cynthia, the sister of one of the clowns, joins them on their journey which slowly becomes a reflection on the sisters’ own tale of displacement during the Lebanese civil war. 

Post screening discussion with Cynthia Choucair who will address the audience from Lebanon, followed by a short talk by humanities scholar and filmmaker, Dr. Nezar Andary (Zayed University) with an educational performance by Italian Actor and Clown Francesca Bizzarri (NYUAD).



Saturday, December 7th at 7.00pm

Embrace of the Serpent
Director: Ciro Guerra
Colombia | 2018 | 125 min | Spanish with English Subtitles | PG-15

Embrace of the Serpent.jpg

Embrace of the Serpent tells the story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of forty years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant. This event questions the relationship between knowledge and culture, confronts the ethnographic impulse, and discusses tolerance in relationship to colonialism.

Post screening discussion with Dr. Ximena Cordova (Zayed University) and Dr. Javier Mejia (NYUAD) with the participation of the director and producer of the film.