Programs for
December 2007 - February 2008


Adonis & Haider
painting, collage and poetry

installation by Syrian artist
Buthayna Ali

A selection of works from the Khalid Shoman Private Collection
Art Inspired by Poetry
Rachid Koraichi
Marwan Kassab Bachi
Farid Belkahia
Mohammad Kacimi
Mohammad Omar Khalil
Himat Ali
Mona Saudi
Ziad Dalloul
 and Kamal Boullata

Dec. 4, 2007 - Feb. 21, 2008

Tuesday at the Darat

Lens on Syria:
A Showcase of Syrian Cinema

Darat al Funun will be presenting "Lens on Syria: Thirty Years of Contemporary Cinema." every Tuesday. The programe includes feature-lengths and shorts as well as documentaries by established and emerging directors the likes of Omar Amiralay, Meyar al Roumi, and Diana El Jaroudi. Curated by Rasha Salti and organized by ArteEast, the selection of films is a touring festival which premiered at the Lincoln Center in New York in 2006.

This program is curated by Rasha Salti and is part of Lens on Syria: Thirty Years of Contemporary Cinema, a touring festival organized by ArteEast. (
Blue House, 6 pm

Dreams of the City
(Ahlam al-Madinah)

by Mohammad Malas, Syria
1983 | 120 min.

«Mother, come and see how beautiful Damascus is!», little Omar cries out to his mother, a young woman drained by mourning. The widely acclaimed, partially autobiographical, Dreams of the City marks the turn towards auteur Syrian cinema, resurrecting the memories of childhood of the working poor.. The film earned eleven awards including the Tanit d’Or at the Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage, Tunisia in 1985, and The Golden Palm at the Valencia Festival, Spain in 1985.

Plate of Sardines –or The First Time I Heard of Israel (Tabaq el-Sardin)

by Omar Amiralay, Syria/France
1997 | 17 min.

«The first time I heard of Israel, I was in Beirut, the conversation was about a plate of sardines. I was six years old, Israel was two.» In the company of filmmaker Mohammad Malas, Omar Amiralay revisits the ruins of the destroyed village of Quneytra.

There Are So Many Things Still To Say… (Hunalika Ashiya’ Kathira Kana Yumken an Yatahadath ‘Anha al-Mare’…)
by Omar Amiralay, Syria/France
1997 | 50 min.

A few months before the passing of his friend and close collaborator dramaturge Sa‘adallah Wannus, Amiralay listens to his friend's somber and relentless words, a farewell to a generation for whom the Arab-Israeli conflict has been the source of all disillusion.

Our Hands (Aydina)
by Abdellatif Abdul-Hamid, Syria
1982 | 14 min.

The filmmaker’s first short film with the National Film Organization, produced after his return to Syria from the Soviet Union, Our Hands is visual essay on laboring, gesturing hands.

Nights of the Jackals
(Layali Ibn Awah)

by Abdellatif Abdul-Hamid, Syria
1989 | 102 min.

Nights of the Jackals follows the life of a peasant family, whose days are spent plowing fields and nights are punctuated by the menacing howling of jackals.

A Silent Cinema
(Un Cinema Muet)

by Meyar al-Roumi, Syria/France
2001 | 29 min.

Upon graduating from a film studies program in Paris, Meyar al-Rumi returns to his native Damascus, eager to start making films. But when the script he proposes is rejected by the censors, he is instead inspired to make a portrait of the Syrian filmmakers who have been affected most by censorship. The film is a courageous short documentary on filmmaking in Syria.

Light and Shadows, the Last of the Pioneers: Nazih Shahbandar (Nouron wa Thilal)
by Mohammad Malas, Oussama Mohammad and Omar Amiralay, Syria/France | 1994 | 52 min.

Trained as an electrician, Nazih Shahbandar became fascinated with the technology behind film production and was one of the pioneers of cinema production in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1947, he set up a studio fitted with film equipment that was almost entirely of his own fabrication. He wrote scripts, built sets, and innovated new methods of sound recording and transmission. As an enthusiastic inventor, he produced and directed the first Syrian film with sound. His dream was to film and screen a 3D film. An ode to cinema, this documentary is a long interview with Shahbandar.

Today and Everyday
(Al-Yaom wa Kull Yaom)

by Oussama Mohammad, Syria
1986 | 13 min.

The filmmaker’s directorial debut after joining the National Film Organization, this short documentary follows young children in preschool as they become exposed for the first time to notions of learning, reciting, and proper pronunciation and molded into conformity

Stars in Broad Daylight (Nujum al-Nahar)
by Oussama Mohammad, Syria
1988 | 115 min.

A double wedding in a small village turns to high drama when one bride runs away and the other refuses to go on with her marriage. The film is rife with biting humor and sharp political critique as it exposes how the violence of arbitrary and absolute power in a patriarchal society seeps into the unit of a family. Stars in Broad Daylight, Ousama Mohammad's first long feature, remains banned from screening in Syria because of its subversive representation and critical voice. Selected at the «Quinzaine des Réalisateurs» at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988.

Sacrifices (Sunduq al-Dunya)
by Oussama Mohammad, Syria
2002 | 113 min.

This film was meant as an hommage to Andreď Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice, the exiled Soviet master's last film, and was selected for the Cannes Film Festival's section Un Certain Regard in 2002. Complex and visually stunning, Sunduq al-Dunya has confirmed its maker as one of the Soviet film school's graduates most individual and masterful filmmakers.

They Were Here
(Innahum Kanu Huna)

by ‘Ammar el-Beik, Syria
2000 | 8 min. | B&W

Coming to terms with the end of the industrial era, They Were Here is an elegant and eloquently composed study that reverberates with lives lived, fading images and relics of retrospection. El-Beik makes a tightly drawn piece about public space, private contemplation and an ephemeral sensibility.

The Dream (al-Manam)
by Mohammad Malas, Syria
1981 | 45 min.

Filmed in Sabra and Shatila, Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, shortly before the massacre in 1982, this documentary's principle reference is dreams, and not lived reality. It plays on this double register, where women, children, elderly and combatants speak the reality of their everyday, transposed eerily, in dreams, nightmares and premonitions. Ultimately they converge on what the Palestinians have lost: their homeland and a life with dignity.

Permanent Exhibitions

"Dar Khalid"
A museum of images reflecting
Khalid Shomann's life and legacy.

Darat al Funun opening hours:

Saturday-Wednesday: 10am - 7pm
Ramadan: 10am - 3pm

Darat Al Funun,
P.O.Box: 5223, Amman 11183, Jordan
Tel: (962-6) 464 3251 /2
Fax: (962-6) 464 3253

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