Three Films about the Middle East

Saturday, November 26 at 6pm

The widely hailed “Arab Spring” of revolutions in Africa and the Middle East has forced Americans to pay closer attention to the rest of the world, but it has also revealed how little we know about this vital area, the birth of civilization. South Side Projections is pleased to present a trio of short films about Americans’ views of the Middle East and Middle Eastern views of Americans. All three films are directed by Dr. Pamela Nice, an award-winning theater and film director from St. Paul.

LETTER FROM CAIRO (2003, 35 min.) focuses on the perspectives of Egyptian artists and intellectuals in Cairo who have spent their lives reflecting on Egyptian culture and its place in the world. Filmed shortly after the September 11 attacks, the interviews emphasize the importance of understanding different cultures.

DREAMING OF MOROCCO (2007, 40 min.) is a portrait of young Moroccans aged 18-30. Set against a backdrop of everyday life in Morocco, the interviews emphasize these young people’s hopes for their own lives and their views of Americans, finding poignant themes that will resonate with viewers from any cultural background.

DESERT IN THE COFFEEHOUSE (2009, 25 min.) brings the Middle East to the Midwest, as Nice asks Minnesotans from a variety of backgrounds what they know and think about the Middle East and America’s role in it. Over steaming cups of coffee, the much discussed but often poorly defined “American public” reveals a surprising range of knowledge and ignorance when asked, “What do Americans think of the Middle East?”

In keeping with the theme of the last film, Cafe 53 will be providing free refreshments. This is a free screening, but donations to support the filmmaker and the Southside Hub of Production will be gratefully accepted.

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