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North African/Arab Cinema Adapted from Literature at Safar Film Fest 2018

North African/Arab Cinema Adapted from Literature at Safar Film Fest 2018

Get ready! The fourth edition of this biennial event, presents rarely seen Arab films adapted from literature. SAFAR demonstrates how the last 50 years of Arab filmmaking has been greatly influenced by the writing from a variety of countries, be it folklore or contemporary fiction – though stories from around the world feature, such as Edgar Allen Poe.
We have selected two films that we think you must not miss..


Horses of God (Main Image still)

Les Chevaux de Dieu

115 mins  Mon 17 Sept 8:30pm | Moroccan Arabic and French with EN subs

FRA/BEL/TUN/MAR | 2012 | dir. Nabil Ayouch, with Abdelhakim Rachi, Abdelilah Rachid, Hamza Souidek

A gripping chronicle of the transformation of two carefree young Casablancan hustlers into terrorists, Horses of God has a sweep and grandeur seldom seen in Arab pictures. Inspired by the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombings – the deadliest terrorist attacks in Morocco’s history – Ayouch aptly translates Mahi Binebine’s searing text into an intimate epic of debilitating poverty, violence and lost innocence without losing empathy for the broken central characters.

Followed by a Q&A with author Mahi Binebine and director Nabil Ayouch (TBC) to book click here 

In the Land of Tararanni

Dir. Férid Boughedir, Hamouda Ben Halima and Hédi Ben Khalifa, Tunisia, 1973, 80 mins, Arabic with English subtitles  Saturday 15th Sept 4pm

No other #Tunisian book has been as popular and influential as Ali Douagi’s short story collection Sahirtu Minhu al-Layali (Sleepless Nights), published posthumously in 1969. Widely regarded as the father of the Tunisian short story and the nation’s greatest satirist, Douagi captured the zeitgeist of the pre-independence period with a smartness and wit that endures.

Land of Tarrarani 2

See Also

This anthology film – directed by Férid Boughedir, Hamouda Ben Halima and Hédi Ben Khalifa – comprises three stories set in the 1930s. In ‘The Lamppost’, a hairdresser meets a mysterious veiled stranger alone under a street lamp; in ‘The Visit’, an unhappy wife complains to her mother about mistreatment by her habitually drunk husband; and in ‘Picnic’, a man shares anecdotes from his rocky marriage over a lunch with a friend.

Rarely seen outside Tunisia, In the Land of Tararanni is among the handful of Tunisian literary adaptations made at the first creative peak of Tunisian cinema; an analytical look at a dysfunctional society that superbly balances bitterness and ire with charm and humour. Book here

SAFAR Multibuy offer: Tickets are £9 each when booking for 3 films or more.

SAFAR runs from 13-18 September with films screening at the ICA and Ciné Lumière, London, curated by Joseph Fahim and presented by the Arab British Centre.
The programme features a number of restorations, premieres and interviews with guest filmmakers and writers, for further information please ask and you may check for added events at the website: