Arab Cinema Showcase: Carthage Film Festival

Arab Cinema In Casablanca Angels Don't FlyArab Cinema: 'In Casablanca, Angels Don't Fly.'

Arab Cinema: Movies from the Arab World at Carthage Film Festival

Mohammed Asli's In Casablanca, Angels Don't Fly was the winner of the Gold Tanit for Best Film at the 2004 edition of Tunisia's Carthage Film Festival, a biennial celebration of Arab cinema. In Casablanca, Angels Don't Fly depicts the plight of three migrant Berber workers who try to eke out a living in Morocco's largest city.

More Arab movies at Carthage

Among the other Arab cinema efforts shown at this year's Carthage Film Festival were:

  • Danielle Arbid's Lebanese drama In the Battlefields, about a young girl's friendship with her aunt's domineering maid in war-torn Beirut.
  • Amer Alwan's Franco-Iraqi drama Zaman: The Man from the Reeds / Zaman, l'homme des roseaux,* in which Iraqi villager Zaman (Sami Kaftan) takes to the road in search of the expensive medication needed to save his ailing wife.
  • Oussama Faouzi's Egyptian-made I Love Cinema, the story of a young boy's love for movies in an environment of strict religious intolerance. I Love Cinema is Egypt's entry for the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.

Amer Alwan, who not only directed but also co-wrote (with Joëlle Alauzet) Zaman: The Man from the Reeds, explained that he “wanted to make a film that was about humanity; that had a universal appeal and feel. The first film I ever saw when I was eight in Iraq was Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thief [a.k.a. Bicycle Thieves]. To this day I still remember that film.”

Carthage Film Festival: Arab cinema showcase

The Carthage Film Festival is one of the most important showcases for Arab films, which are generally plagued by government censorship and poor distribution even in their own countries.

Stellar guests seen at Carthage this year included two veteran Egyptian film personalities: director Youssef Chahine (Cairo Station) and actor Omar Sharif (the star of David Lean's Doctor Zhivago and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for Lean's Lawrence of Arabia).

The 2004 Carthage Film Festival ran October 1-9.

* According to the IMDb, Zaman: The Man from the Reeds is a 2003 production made for French television, though it was screened at several film festivals.


Amer Alwan quote: The Daily Star.

In Casablanca, Angels Don't Fly image: Carthage Film Festival's Arab Cinema showcase.

Arab Cinema Showcase: Carthage Film Festival © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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