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Movie Nights

Winter 2024

(Arabic: العرب الراقصون; Hebrew: זהות שאולה;)
Based on Sayed Kashua'S book "Dancing Arabs"
Wednesday, January 17
5 PM -7:30 PM in Kresge 1515.

Director: Eran Riklis
Screenplay: Sayed Kashua

Trailer (In Arabic and Hebrew with English Subtitles) 

dancing arabsDancing Arabs is a 2014 Israeli Drama Film by Eran Riklis based on Sayed Kashua's book Dancing Arabs. Dancing Arabs tells the story of Eyad, a Palestinian-Israeli boy from the town of Tira whose parents send to a prestigious bilingual Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem. At school he finds himself struggling with issues of language, culture, and identity -- trying to survive and to find his way in a place where war constantly rages around him. Feeling foreign and alienated, Eyad realizes that in order to be accepted as an equal, in order to allay people's suspicions, in order to work, to love, and, above all, to belong -- he has to make personal sacrifices. The novel explores his difficulties, divided between his pride in his Palestinian identity and the desire to be a part of Israeli society.

Sayed Kashua (Arabic: سيد قشوع‎, Hebrew: סייד קשוע‎; b. 1975) is an Israeli-Arab author and journalist born in Tira, Israel, known for his books and humoristic columns in Hebrew.


"Let It Be Morning"
(Hebrew: ויהי בוקר, Arabic فليكن صباحا)

Based on Sayed Kashua'S book "LET IT BE MORNING"

WedNEsday, January 31,
5:30-8 PM in Kresge 1515.

Director: Eran Korilin
Screenplay: Eran Korilin

Trailer (In Arabic and Hebrew with English Subtitles) 

let-it-be-morningLet It Be Morning (2021) is the story of Sami (Alex Bakri) a Palestinian-born Israeli citizen living in Jerusalem who is invited to his brother’s wedding. He has to return to the Arab village where he grew up and which he left for other opportunities. After the wedding ends, Sami's hometown is put under a military blockade lockdown by the Israeli government, without explanation. The power is cut and the villagers are trapped by an Israeli roadblock. When chaos erupts amongst the villagers who begin to run out of food and water, Sami is also cut off from the outside world and unable to return to his work in Jerusalem. Trapped in an unexpected situation, he deals with questions about his own identity. As hidden secrets are revealed, Sami watches everything he holds dear begin to fall apart. The film is based on Sayed Kashua's book with the same name.

Sayed Kashua (Arabic: سيد قشوع‎, Hebrew: סייד קשוע‎; b. 1975) is an Israeli-Arab author and journalist born in Tira, Israel, known for his books and humoristic columns in Hebrew.



The author Sayed Kashua will be visiting Northwestern University on Sunday, February 4 (campus-wide event) and Monday, February 5 (MENA Languages  Program event). Put the dates into your calendar.


Did you miss one of the movie nights

we offered previously? 

Catch up on these films that were selected by our Faculty.  We hope that the movies inspire fruitful discussions across languages, countries, and cultures and that they help us understand and gain respect for contrastive perspectives, values, believes, traditions, and world views.

In Between 

The 2016 movie tells the story of three Palestinian women who share an apartment in Tel Aviv and try to find a balance between traditional and modern culture.  The movie is directed by Palestinian Israeli Maysaloun Hamoud.  The movie is in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles. 


Directed by Emil Ben-Shimon and written by Shlomit Nahama, the critically acclaimed 2016 film follows the stuggles after an accident which destroys the synagogue's women's balcony and ushers in a new rabbi.  The movie examines the roles of religious beliefs, rituals, traditions, and attitudes, and how each of them shapes the individual and the community. 


The 2022 thriller is in Turkish, and it was written and directed by Emin Alper.  Emre is an idealistic young prosecutor.  He is newly appointed to the rural Turkish community of Balkaya, and he finds himself being pulled into a political conflict during his first murder investigation.


Carona was written by Abboudy Mallah and directed Shady Hanna.  It is a 2020 comedy in Arabic with English subtitles about a Lebanese family's experience in the COVID-19 era.  After a neighbor is diagnosed with the disease, the family decides to leave their life in the city behind and to shelter in a small remote village.  While living in an old, run-down house with no electricity and no internet, the family rediscovers a lost identity and family history.  


This 2010 film follows a 30-year-old man's returns to his Egypt homeland.  After living in America for 20 years, he becomes stranded with no identification in a now unfamiliar culture.

Fill the void 

Fill the Void, a 2012 film, was written and directed by Rama Burshtein and it won several Ophir awards.  The film focuses on life among the Haredi Jewish community in Tel Aviv, as an 18-year-old girl is asked to cancel her upcoming marriage to a promising young man and marry her widowed brother-in-law instead.  

The cakemaker 

This 2017 film was written and directed by Ofir Raul Graizer, and it also was the winner of numerous Ophir awards by the Israeli Academy of Film.  This beautifully crafted film follows the affair, and its aftermath, between German and Israeli lovers.  



This Egyptian-American documentary 2013 film by Jehane Noujaim depicts the ongoing Egyptian Crisis, starting with the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 at Tahrir Square.  The film received universal critical aclaim, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and won numerous audience choice awards. 


Set in 1981, the 2004 film was written and directed by Joseph Cedar and it follows the story of a young widow who wants to join the founding group of a new settlement of religious Jews in the West Bank.  She must convince the acceptance committee that she is worthy, and then address her daughters' objections. 


 This powerful 2018 film was directed by Nadine Labaki and it received numerous awards including the Cannes Jury Prize.  A hardened and streetwise twelve-year boy sues his parents in protest for the life they have given him.  

Turn Left at the end of the world 

The 2004 film takes place in a small development town in 1968 and narrates the struggle of Moroccan and Indian olim, and it focuses on the relationship of two girls, Sarah and Nicole.