The messy aftermath of the political revolution of Egypt is played out in After the Battle the Arab Film Festival’s opening night film. Directed by Yousry Nasrallah, the film centres on Mahmoud, a lower-class man who tries desperately to provide for his family, but is ostracised in his own neighbourhood for his involvement in the Tahrir Square protests. He meets Reem, a middle-class divorcee and political activist; and their lives become entangled forever.
Throughout its ten-year history the festival films have responded to global events and attitudes, showing films from Arab directors all over the globe. These issues are clearly pertinent to Australian culture, as the festival marks the continued expression of the tensions involved with multiculturalism. The films also allow a female voice to rise out of the Arab world, Festival co-director Mouna Zaylah says, “The cultural landscape in the Arab world is changing for societies and also for individuals – Arab women are standing up and being heard.” (ATS)
Jun 27-30, Riverside Theatres, Church St & Market St, Parramatta, $15-80, arabfilmfestival.com.au