Yallah! Underground

  • Directed by Farid Eslam
  • Czech Republic/Germany/United Kingdom/United States/Egypt, 2015, 85 mins., 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.”

Genres: Documentary, Music