- Eya Sagui Bizawe
Israelis still wax nostalgic about that old Friday night ritual, back in the times when television had just one channel, and everyone would watch the Arab Movie of the Week. But how did Israel’s official TV station transcend hostile boundaries to obtain these films, and why did it insist on showing movies made by “the enemy”? The Arabic-language movie from Egypt let some of us escape back to our childhood homes and let others peek out from their “villa in the jungle” and catch a glimpse at our neighbors across the border. But most of us didn’t really want to see those people, whose culture, anguish, and aspirations flickered on our screens. Arab Movie brings us the stars and the songs, the convoluted plots, and that fleeting moment, when we shared the same cultural heroes as everyone else in the Middle East.
Filmmaker Eyal Bizawe is a researcher of Egyptian Cinema and Popular Culture, and holds a BA in Arabic Literature and Middle Eastern Studies from the Tel Aviv University and an MA in Cultural Studies from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He lectures at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, at Sapir College in Sderot and at Minshar School of Art in Tel Aviv.
Cosponsored with the Department of Near Eastern Studies & the Jewish Studies Program.