Conflicts throughout the world have become ever increasingly complex in their beginnings and ongoing outcomes. Trying to understand why the Arab Spring began and how it spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East or who the myriad of participants in the now five-year-old plus Syrian Civil War takes a significant amount of focus and tenacity to absorb details from media sources or history books. Enter the infographic, a relatively new form of media that attempts to squeeze the complexity of modern-day social, economic, and political issues into a few minutes of clarity. read more
Okay, so Iran has a lot of work ahead in the realm of human rights, although many other countries do too. And even if this is a promotional video, we can agree that the greatness and beauty of Iran are its people, cities and countryside — and that beauty exists above and beyond its politics and shortcomings. Should we not go? read more
The documentary, Rebel Architecture — The Architecture of Violence, by journalist and filmmaker Ana Naomi de Sousa features Israeli architect Eyal Weizman who describes how architecture and urban planning are deployed as an instruments of violence and control. By examining how Israel divides land; installs roads, highways, walls, and fences; commands hilltops, and strategically designs homes and its settlements, we see how architecture and urban planning are used to enact ongoing and effective engulfing of the Occupied Territories and enacting chaos among Palestinian residents. read more
Syrian-born Kkaled Abdulwahed comes from a graphic design communications background, but has created striking video pieces that look directly at life through the lens of war. This piece, Bullet, combines hand-drawn animation with graffiti and uses a bullet-symbol as a timeline projectile traveling through life impacting people, facilitating authority and power, and finally bringing with it, death. The heart, a common icon of social positiveness and well-being, and butterflies, symbols of childhood innocence, are defended and defeated as the bullet glides through this narrative, now three years old and still completely relevant. read more
Egyptian artist and animator, Mokhtar Talaat, created this very great stop-motion film, and being an animation aficionado and wannabe animator myself, I understand the enormous effort required to create this short piece. His story tells of a dad and daughter family team without mom, and we see a common story of a highly creative and precocious kid trying to break through dad’s work for some attention. Both are occupied with what they create, and preoccupation gives way to collaboration.
I know little of Mokhtar Talaat or his Mokaabat Studio, but I hope he creates more animation, and that he gets support from other filmmakers, musicians, and sponsors too.