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Directed by Farid Eslam

Czech Republic, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Egypt 2015 85 mins. In English, Arabic

Through exuberant performances and heartfelt interviews, Farid Eslam goes deep into the world of alternative Arab music before and during the upheavals of the Arab Spring. Singers, rockers, rappers, and music producers from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine grapple with conditions out of step with the freedom they seek—to make music in their own way without fear of repression by political or religious authorities. Driven less by anger than longing, they are aware of the power of music to transform. As one Ramallah musician puts it, “A bullet would make big sound, a song would make bigger, so I think it’s just switching from a gun to a guitar but the aim is the same.”



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.