<em>Mohammadia</em>. 1974. Tunisia. Directed by Ahmed Bennys. Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Tunisia
  • Eight 8mm Shorts by Ahmed Zir

    1979–2010. Algeria. Ahmed Zir. 57 min.

  • Mohammadia

    1974. Tunisia. Ahmed Bennys. 30 min.

North American premieres

Monday, November 12, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

  • Eight 8mm Shorts by Ahmed Zir

    1979–2010. Algeria. Directed by Ahmed Zir. An exquisite mixture of fiction, experimentation, philosophy, and delight in pure visuals, Zir’s 8mm shorts—more than 45 in total since 1979—have traveled to festivals all over the world, garnering prizes and cult status along the way. Zir's exceptional gift for creating illuminating gems from the vast reservoirs of human life (mostly as lived on the margins in his native Algeria) skirts the edge of official cultural production to retain an authentic, uninflected, innocent-yet-sophisticated creative force. The films selected here all concern "history" in some respect, including the last, Image Passion Histoire, which compresses 130 years of French colonization in Algeria into an astounding 11 minutes. In Arabic; English subtitles. 57 min.

  • Mohammadia

    1974. Tunisia. Directed by Ahmed Bennys. Mohammadia is one of those rare gems that have earned both critical acclaim and wide audience popularity over generations, a film that is both uniquely eccentric and utterly seminal. Traveling between contemporary Tunisia (shot in exquisite 16mm black-and-white) and 100 years prior to independence (narrated with ink-etched cutouts), Mohammadia re-envisages official colonial history. The film recounts, in the style of a folk tale, how Bey Ahmed I became smitten with Versailles after a trip to Paris and decided to build an equally sumptuous palace for himself in Tunis, driving his country to ruin in the bargain. Regarded as the beginning of Tunisia’s “march towards modernity,” Ahmed I's folly precipitated bloody riots and led to the French colonial mandate. In Arabic; English subtitles. 30 min.