New Middle East Cinema
dir. Hisham Zaman, Iraq, 2013, 96 min. Presenters: Iris Drechsler & Mehmet Darakçıoğlu
A sixteen-year-old boy gets wrapped in plastic, and lowered into a tank truck full of crude oil. That's how Hisham Zaman's long awaited feature film debut begins. Before Snowfall is an untraditional roadmovie about family, love, dignity and honor. Siyar is the eldest man in the family. When his sister escapes from her own wedding, he's given the task to track her down and restore the family's reputation. The hunt after his sister becomes a dangerous journey from east to west, where the collision of traditional bound cultures and modern western living challenges Siyar to find out who he really is. In Istanbul he meets the young girl Evin, who's also lost between borders in Europe. They experience a budding friendship and an infatuation. Evin chooses to travel with him, unknowingly of his plan. Winner: Dragon Award for best Nordic film at Gøteborg International Film Festival, and Best Cinematography at Tribeca Film festival.
The Cinema Studies Program, the Jewish
Studies Program, the Middle East Center, and the Near Eastern Languages &
Civilizations Department at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration
with the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and International House
Philadelphia, present the 2013 edition of New Middle East Cinema. Recently released feature films, which
represent a large number of countries in the region, have been selected as the
best to be presented and discussed to further the understanding of current
Middle Eastern societies and cultures through cinema.