Arab Film Nights

Looking around the migration communities in European major cities, you discover that the topics bothering the women, men and children are the acquisition of the new language, the search for apartments and jobs, the maintenance of contacts to their old homes and the finding of a new identity. Their hobbies from before their migration, such as sports, art and music are often left behind. We ask ourselves: What remains among those who must start anew, and what is keeping them together and strengthening them? Over the last three years, the Arab Film Club saw that the answer to this is the exchange of cultures, and the examination of differences and similarities. It empowers, brings joy and supports integration.
Initially emerging from the “Embassy of Hope” by the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg, the Arab Film Club is aimed at the exchange between German- and Arab-speaking people. The films, often selected after heated debates, are translated into German and subtitled. This way, linguistic skills can be improved in a practical, fun way. Furthermore, friendships are forged across cultural, religious and generational boundaries. By now, several features and short films were debated, processed and presented to enthusiastic audiences in the Greater Hamburg area. The selection of Arab short films focuses on the complex topic of relationships. It is about interpersonal, political and intercultural relations, but also about the connection to one’s own past, self-image and identity. We touch upon taboos, look behind the veil of masculine machinations, deal with the challenges of the old and new home, Islamic brotherly love and the elementary wish for procreation.
Making films in times of war, censorship and the Internet is a challenge. How do I get funding for my film, especially when it is dealing with critical subjects? How do I distribute it without getting into the line of fire? Are there still reflections of the ancient narrative traditions of Arabian Nights in contemporary short films? Are films completely globalized by now?
In Saudi Arabia, the prohibition of cinemas was lifted in 2018. In the new Mecca of cinema, multiplexes are springing up like mushrooms. Which contents make it to the silver screen despite censorship? Will there still be separate screenings for men and women?
The economic lack of perspective in Arab countries, jihadism, despotism and the confrontations between religions, ethnic communities and identities make it difficult to maintain an optimistic view. Still the filmmakers enter a dialogue with us and raise questions. These questions need to be asked in this clash of cultures and we are looking forward to debating them with our audience.
All films are either in Arabic or provide Arabic subtitles in addition to the English and German ones. Find out more at

Arab Film Nights
Thursday, 6th of June | 7 pm | Festival Center Post, Lampenlager