Innocence Crushed

By Lynne Rogers

The Israeli and French filmmaker Simone Bitton has composed yet another powerful documentary with her new film "Rachel." The story begins with Rachel’s fellow activists reading excerpts from her personal journal five years after her death. Bitton’s camera dexterously shifts from the accounts of Rachel’s family, friends, and teachers, to those of the Palestinians living on the ...


The Modesty of the Intellectual: Waiting For Abu Zayd


Contemporary debates about the role of Islam in modern Middle-Eastern societies are often captive to the vocabulary of “moderate vs. extremist,” leaving little room for discussions that move beyond these black and white distinctions.  Fortunately, Mohammed Ali Atassi’s recently released documentary about the late Egyptian “liberal” Islamic intellectual Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd is a rare exception.  

A Dangerous Business

Al Jadid Staff

In March 2007, Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo set out with his Afghan driver, Sayed Agha, and his ‘fixer,’ the 24 year old Ajmal Naqshbandi, to interview a “notorious one-legged Taliban commander.”  Instead, the trio found themselves in a nightmare, ...

Man As Nation

Al Jadid Staff

“Mustafa Kemal Ataturk” commences with images of Modern day Turkey, replete with contradictions and tensions between Islamists and secularists. Since September 11 Turkey has often been hailed as an example of a successful Middle Eastern democracy, ...

The Cost of Feminism

Lynne Rogers

In the documentary, “Unveiled Views”, Muslim feminists with and without the veil, speak of their costly pursuance of art and freedom.  In Turkey, the glamorous and tenacious Eren Keskin, a human rights attorney with a classically trained singing voice, ...

Life at the Wall

Al Jadid Staff

While most documentaries on the occupation of Palestine focus on the abuse of innocent civilians,”This Way Up,” winner of several awards including the 2008 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, takes an original and poignant view ...

No Garbage, No Wife

Lynne Rogers

Mai Iskander’s new documentary, “Garbage Dreams,” delves into the lives of the “Zaballeen,” the 60,000 Coptic Christians who live on the outskirts of Cairo collecting and recycling the garbage of Cairo’s 18 million people...


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