On November 20, 1975, Francisco Franco died. Finally, Spain can slowly transform itself into a democracy. Thus begins the period called “transición”, which ends for some on 6 December 1978 with the ratification of the Spanish Constitution; for others with the electoral victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party in 1982, after a fascist coup attempt the year before.
“Informe general sobre unas cuestiones de interés para una proyección pública” covers the period preceding the nation’s first free elections after Franco, on June 15, 1977 – an event that is at the same time very real, if a little theatrical “, which led to Portabella to approach the project as if it were a piece of fiction. He was certainly not a disinterested subject: Portabella himself was a candidate in the elections, and would have taken part in the drafting of the Constitution of ’78.
Born in Algeria in 1944, he is a director and screenwriter who studied at the Institut National du Cinéma in Algiers and then at L’Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC) in Paris. Since his debut film Omar Gatlato he has been directing films in both France and Algeria. His work has screened at numerous international festivals.
Filmography (selection) 1976 Omar Gatlato 1978 Moughamarat Batal 1983 L’Homme Qui Regardait les Fenêtres 1986 Un Amour à Paris 1993 Bab El Oued City 1995 Salut Cousin! 2000 L’autre Monde 2003 Chouchou 2005 Bab El Web 2009 Harragas 2010 Tata Bakhta; TV movie 2012 El-Taïb (The Repentant) 2013 Esstouh (The Rooftops) 2015 Madame Courage 2017 Tahqiq Fel Djenna (Investigating Paradise).
She made her debut with the award-winning L’isola, presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs of the 56th Cannes Film Festival in 2003. In the same year the making of Racconti per L’isola was invited to the Venice International Film Festival in the New Territories section . She has twice won the Silver Ribbon for best documentary: with Terramatta in 2013 and Triangle in 2015. Among her documentary films presented in the most important international festivals and winners of various awards in Italy and abroad: Ècosaimale? (2000), The child Joachim (2000), Hélène’s bag (2000), Devi’s insomnia (2001), Raìz (2004), The world on her shoulders (2006), My human heart (2009), With the breathless (2013, Special Award for Silver Ribbons), Triangle (2014, Cipputi Award), 87 hours (2015, Special Award for Silver Ribbons). With Ascent Film she made Looks my son, presented in 2018 at the Locarno Film Festival, winner of the Ciak d’Oro Bello e invisibile and the Nastro d’Argento “for legality”. In 2018 she received the Visioni Dal Mondo Award, the CIR Award and the Amnesty International Award and in 2019, at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, she was President of the Jury of the Venezia Classici section. Since 2019 she is Artistic Director of the Palermo branch of the Experimental Cinematography Center dedicated to Documentary Cinema.
Nouri Bouzid, born in Sfax in 1945, is a Tunisian director. Two of his films (L’Homme de cendres and Making of) won the Carthage Film Days’ Golden Tanit in 1986 and 2006 respectively. From 1968 to 1972 he studied cinema in Belgium. He was assistant director on the set of Le Larron de Pasquale Festa Campanile in 1979. He spent five years in prison for his political beliefs. In 1986, his first feature film, L’Homme de cendres, the story of a young man who remembers the traumas of his childhood shortly before his wedding, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival. His next film, Les Sabots en or, is also from 1988. Bezness, through the portrait of a man played by Abdellatif Kechiche, deals with male prostitution.
In addition to his films, he participates in the dialogue writing of Halfaouine, the son of the terraces and A summer at the Goulette by Férid Boughedir, The Sultan of the Medina by Moncef Dhouib but also The Silences of the Palace and The Season of Men by Moufida Tlatli. Filmography The Ash Man (1986) gets the Golden Tanit at the 1986 Carthage Film Festival Les Sabots en o (1988) The Gulf War… and after? (1991) Bezness (1992) Tunisiennes (original title Bent Familia) (1997) Poupées d’argile (2002) Making of (2006) Millefeuille (2012) Les Épouvantails (2019) gets the Golden Tanit during the 2006 Carthage Film Festival
Iranian-born actor and editor, son of director and actor Nosrat Karimi and actress Alam Danai. It carries out his activity between Italy, Iran and France. He made his debut in front of the camera at the age of ten, in that is considered the first film of Iranian neorealism, Doroshkechi (The coachman, 1971). The same year he moved to Italy where he studied cinema specializing in shooting and editing. For fifteen years he devoted himself to the making of documentaries as an operator and editor. In 1991, in collaboration with the painter Mahshid Mussavi, he brought to Italy the first Iranian film officially distributed in commercial theaters, Bashu, the little foreigner by Bahram Beyzai. In the following years he worked on interconnection and promotion between Italy and Iranian cinema, writing the Italian dialogues for the films of Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, Panahi, Jalili, Farhadi and collaborating as a consultant with various festivals and reviews. As an editor he has worked with Abbas Kiarostami, Babak Payami, Vera Belmont, Pasquale Scimeca, Maurizio Zaccaro, Gianfranco Pannone and others. He has been a lecturer in editing at the Experimental Center of Cinematography in Rome and the Accademia dell’Immagine de L’Aquila. In 2011 he starred in the film A Separation by Asghar Farhadi (winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film) winning the Silver Bear for Best Actor. The partnership with Farhadi will also continue with the director’s second film, The Past. In both cases, Karimi oversaw the dubbing and personally dubbed his characters in Italian. In 2016 he starred in the film winner of the Prix du Scénario at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival The Client, also directed by Farhadi. Other films: Fish Dead by Ruholla Hejazi (Iran 2016); Noces by Stephan Straker (Belgium-France-Luxemburg 2016); Invasion by Shahram Mokri (Iran 2017); As long as there is Prosecco there is Hope by Antonio Padovan (Italy-2017); The Vertical Line by Mattia Torre (Italy 2018); Gaze (short) by Farnoosh Samadi (Iran 2017); A Nameless Story by Roberto Ando ‘(Italy-2018); Delay (short) by Ali Asgari (Iran – 2018); Il Seems My Son by Costanza Quatriglio (Italy 2018); of The Role (short) by Farnoosh Samadi (Iran 2018); Iron Deficiency of Azadeh Abadpur (Iran 2019); Yalda by Massoud Bakhshi (Iran, France, Germany, Luxemburg 2019); Children of Giuseppe Bonito (Italy 2020); Winter by Giulio Mastromauro (Italy 2020); Careless Crime by Shahram Mokri (Iran 2020), We Have To by Reza Dormishian (Iran-2020), Cinema Shahre Ghesse by Keyvan Alimohammadi and Omid Bonakdar (Iran, 2020), The Life Ahed (La Vita Davanti a Se) by Edoardo Ponti (Italy-USA, 2020) (see complete bio attached)
Wednesday 11 November 2020 at 17:00 – Online presentation of ARABPOP as part of the MedFilm Festival “Readings from the Mediterranean” session, live streaming from the Festival’s Facebook page.
Chiara Comito, co-curator and author,
Anna Gabai, author,
Luce Lacquaniti, author.
Debate moderated by Ada Barbaro, professor of Arabic literature at Sapienza in Rome.
Introduction by Veronica Flora, MedFilm Festival
In Italy, the so-called Arab Springs of 2011 have often been analyzed by commentators and journalists only as unexpected outbursts of violence or as the result of power games between Western states. The short-sightedness of a thought flattened on Islamophobic positions prevented us from really knowing who went down to the squares of Tunis, Cairo or Damascus: a young generation that asked for freedom, calling into question political, religious and gender affiliations. This spirit of freedom has been collected and elaborated by Arab intellectuals, artists and writers who in the cinema, on the walls of their cities, in novels, poems and songs have told the genesis and the consequences of the protest movements. The contributions of this volume intend to give credit to this incredible cultural season, and to make the Italian public aware of the literature, music, films, artistic and theatrical works born from this period of revolt.
“I believe that revolutions must not lie in order not to lose their credibility. I think they must collect the statements of witnesses, in which details are intertwined that tell of the pain, the assault on the cities, the open fire without restraint on the demonstrators. […] We need truth in times of war, because human life and death are not things to be taken lightly. We need a dose of innocent lie, as in writing, in times of peace and love, to sweeten existence in the face of prevailing cruelty.“
Khaled Khalifa, Syrian writer
Chiara Comito is an Arabist, has a degree in Languages and Relations and Institutions of Asia and Africa. In 2012 he founded Editoriaraba, the main Italian website on contemporary Arabic literature. He has written for several newspapers “Internazionale”, “Vice”, “Arab Media Report”. He works as a geopolitical analyst dealing with the Middle East and collaborates with literary and film festivals, publishing houses, bookshops and libraries to promote Arab culture.
Silvia Moresi is an Arabist and translator, teaches Contemporary Arabic Culture and Literature at the Istituto di Alti Studi SSML Carlo Bo, in Bari. She has translated, for the Jouvence publishing house, the anthology My most beautiful poems (2016) by Nizar Qabbani and the poem collection Eleven Planets (2018) by Mahmud Darwish. Since 2017 she is the author, for “Q Code Magazine”, of the column Atlante Letterario Arabo, translated into French and republished in the magazine “Orient XXI”.