past events

Alwan for the Arts and 3rd i Collaborative Monthly Series presents

Screening: Mahmoud Darwich - As the Land is the Language

Directed by Simone Bitton/ 1997/ 60 min/ English and Arabic with English Subtitles

Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 7:30 pm

Two Boots Pioneer Theater
155 East 3rd Street (at Avenue A), New York, NY 10009, (212) 591-0434
Trains: F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Astor, R, W to 8 St.
Tickets: $10 Adults / $6.50 Pioneer Members

In the powerful documentary Mahmoud Darwich, Simone Bitton interviews the famed Palestinian poet about his art, life, and relationship with his homeland. Bitton explores the connection between the poet and the land of which he writes but has not been allowed to visit. His life and the development of his art is retraced, from his experience as a young man living in Jerusalem, to exile in Beirut and Tunis, where he became an active supporter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and finally to Paris.

It is sometimes difficult to imagine the huge popularity poets enjoy in the Arab world. From the Middle East to North Africa, poetry is considered a living art that should be performed on stage by the authors themselves. When the great Arab poet Mahmoud Darwich recites his poems in Cairo, Beirut or Algiers (or even in Paris and London), packed crowds come to mouth the verse with him.

This film traces Darwich's path of exile from Palestine, sets out to understand this popular fervor and share the emotion distilled by Darwich's words and inimitable rhythm. It not only allows the viewer to appreciate his work in its totality, but also places it in a political, historical and cultural context. Readings of Darwich's work by the poet himself are set against scenes of the Palestinian countryside and serve to highlight the way in which the land is conjured up and recreated in the verse of this highly creative and troubled artist.

About the Presenting Organizations:

3rd I New York's monthly film and music salon designed by local filmmakers and experimental djs showcases the works of independent filmmakers of South Asian descent and local djs, musicians and electronica artists. Providing alternative forums for South Asian filmmakers who often have few venues to showcase their work not only increases their visibility, but also provides a social forum for peers and audiences to participate in an ongoing discussion.

Alwan for the Arts serves the Arab community and educates the broader public by showcasing a range cultural events; thereby enriching the cross-cultural and artistic encounter. Since 1998, Alwan for the Arts has played a leading role in promoting the diverse cultures of the Arab countries in New York City. It organized film festivals and screenings, book/poetry readings and signings, lectures and conferences, art exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, and language and literature classes. In 2003, Alwan established a center in lower Manhattan which provides a physical base for its diverse cultural activities.

© Copyright 3rd I NY 2002-2008. All Rights Reserved.

This event is made possible in part through public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities/New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.