On what would have been the late Egyptian actor's 86th birthday, I wanted to revisit an interview from seven years ago, one of my favorite pieces and most beloved encounters. And for me, since then, there have been many. But Omar Sharif was, is and forever will be the greatest Arab movie star. Unequaled and inimitable.Read More
In 2009, Cherien Dabis’ first feature ‘Amreeka’ created the perfect buzz at the Sundance film festival where it premiered. The Hollywood Reporter touted it as a film that re-energized the immigrant stories genre with “refreshing wit, honest emotions, incisive observations and a perfect cast she [Dabis] literally flew around the world to find.”
Fast forward to 2017 when Dabis has become a name to be reckoned with in Arab cinema, of course but also, and perhaps more importantly, in Hollywood. The Palestinian-American Dabis is currently a producer-slash-director-slash-writer on ‘Empire’, has written and produced various episodes of ‘Quantico’, ditto for ‘The L Word’ and this is all after writing, directing, producing and starring in her second feature ‘May in the Summer’which also world premiered at Sundance in 2013.Read More
“I don’t want to be defined by it, by that thing.” Those wise words belong to photojournalist Guy Martin, when talking about the 2011 attack in Libya which injured him along with one other photographer, and left both Chris Hondros and documentarian Tim Hetherington dead. In a society that loves to place labels on people, for their achievements but most often for their misfortunes and mistakes, Martin is a perfect example of why such simplistic definitions are just plain wrong.
We are, and we become who we will be by constantly reshuffling and adding up all of our life experiences — the good and the bad, the brave and the scary, the deaths and the births. British-born and Middle East expert documentarian Guy Martin represents a wonderful specimen of the possibilities of humanity’s resilience, and grace under fire.Read More