Ten Documentaries to See at Dubai International Film Festival 2017
There are approximately 20 documentaries in this year's edition of Dubai International Film Festival, categorised as "non-fiction" or "creative documentary".
These are my top 10 picks and I've included a couple of lines for each one explaining why. Click on each title for more information, synopsis, schedule and ticket details.
Director: Egil Håskjold Larsen | PG | Arabic dialogue with English subtitles | 70 min
A story about the global refugee crisis, from the point of view of a small child, with the camera filming one metre above ground level, capturing the story from the point of view of a three year old child named Lean.
Director: Agnès Varda, JR | PG | French dialogue with English subtitles | 93 min
Agnès Varda. That is all.
Director: Feras Fayyad | 18+ | Arabic dialogue with English subtitles | 104 min
I've been hearing great things about this film from Janrary after it won the Grand Jury Prize (World Cinema – Documentary) at Sundance. I don't suspect this will be an easy film to watch, but it is an important film to see.
Director: Claire Belhassine | PG | Arabic, English and French dialogue with English subtitles | 98 min
I am curious about this documentary about Hedi Jouini, dubbed the "Frank Sinatra of Tunisian music".
Director: Julia Bacha | PG | Arabic, English, French and Hebrew dialogue with English subtitles | 76 min
About Naila Ayesh and her non-violent mobilization in Palestinian history - the First Intifada in the late 1980s.
Director: Rana Eid | 12+ | Arabic dialogue with English subtitles | 69 min
An ode to a city (Beirut), memories and loss.
Director: Sonia Kronlund | 15+ | Dari and French dialogue with English subtitles | 85 min
About Salim Shaheen, who has made over 100 films in Afghanistan. One for cinephiles.
Director: Nujoom Alghanem | PG | Arabic and English dialogue with English subtitles | 84 min
A personal portrait of renowned UAE contemporary artist Hassan Sharif who passed away last year (and there's currently a retrosptective exhibition of his work at Sharjah Art Foundation). He wasn't just an artist, but a writer and critic, he created provocative and conceptual work since the 1970s that was ahead of its time here in the UAE.
Director: Koutaiba Al-Janabi | PG | Arabic and Hungarian dialogue with English subtitles | 67 min
Memories, stories and experiences of thousands of Iraqis who have filled the corners of the earth over the past 40 years.
Director: Ziad Khalthoum | 12+ | Arabic dialogue with English subtitles | 85 mins
Another documentary set in Beirut, but this one is about Syrian construction workers are building skyscrapers, while their own homes in their homeland are being shelled. A look at their restricted and deprived lives as refugees.