Ten feature-length non-fiction works have been selected for the Documentary Feature Competition, a section of the sixth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, set to unspool October 11-20 in the second largest city, and capital, of the United Arab Emirates.
From the Venice festival comes film critic Lyubov Arkus’ feature debut, Anton’s Right Here, which documents an autistic teenager's six year journey through the Russian health system. The Belgian/French co-production Approved for Adoption relates the experiences of one of some 200,000 adopted Koreans in the world, whilst Hala Alabdalla’s doco on Arab artists, As if We Were Catching a Cobra, is a co-production of Syria, France and the UAR.
Director Sami Tlili’s Cursed be the Phosphates investigates an uprising in the chemical-rich Gafsa region of Tunisia in the years before the government’s toppling, whilst American Eugene Jarecki’s much-traveled The House I Live In also receives its Middle East premiere. From Egypt and the UAR comes In Search of Oil and Sand, a doco from Wael Omar and Philippe Dib that recounts a 1952 film about revolution made by members of the Egyptian Royal Family—who were subsequently ousted in real life.
Beth Murphy’s US production The List tells of an American foreign aid worker who tracks thousands of persecuted Iraqis and attempts to get them to safety. Egyptian director Safaa Fathy’s Mohammad Saved from the Waters looks at poverty and public health from the standpoint of a boy facing renal failure from a polluted river.
Two Canadian films familiar from the festival circuit, Sarah Polley’s autobiographical Stories We Tell and Nisha Pahuja’s award-winning The World Before Her, round out the program alongside Mahdi Fleiefel’s A World Not Ours, which looks at a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.
And in the Special Programs section of the festival, tribute will be paid to the artist Christo, with screenings of The Gates and a documentary on his career called Nomad of Art.
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival promises full program details along with schedule and ticketing information September 26, with the program guide available here.
*Image from A World Not Ours.
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Patrick Lindsay's book shows that to understand the Anzac spirit we must first understand the spirit of Gallipoli.
The untold story of Australian soldiers caught up in war and revolution during the invasion of Russia in 1918-1919.
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