December 18, 2009

6th Dubai International Film Festival

It's the second film fest I've experienced in a span of 3 months and just like the first I wish I watched more films. My stay in Dubai the past week was probably the most hectic week I've had in a while so it gives me peace of mind to convince myself I had an excuse for only watching 4 films. These films are Brothers, Amreeka, City of Life and La Teta Asustatda (The Milk of Sorrow).

Brothers was great, I had no clue what to expect in the beginning but am always up for watching a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal. Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire are also part of the cast. I was mostly impressed by the eldest daughter who is about 8 years old, she should be recognized for her performance.

I had been hearing about Amreeka for a long time so I'm glad I got to finally watch it AND have the opportunity for a Q&A with the director, Cherien Dabis, the casting director and the two main actors. Cherien Dabis was full of life and seems like such a cool person to work with. I have to say the grandma was hilarious, if you're from Palestine/ Jordan/ Lebanon or any country nearby you're practically watching your own grandma. They are all the same! One of the best parts is when she calls her daughter in Illinois to check up on her after hearing about an earthquake in California, how typical.

City of Life directed by Ali F. Mostafa is sort of like Crash a la Dubai with the "every person can change someone else's life without being aware" type thing. I'm so glad that this kind of film was made because it will encourage other filmmakers to tackle similar themes and convey them to the public. Everyone always needs that push, especially here in the Arab world where being the first to raise certain issues is not always easy. The cast was pretty impressive too, Natalie Dormer, Jason Flemyng, Ahmed Ahmed and The Narcicyst (who I never heard about till now). I'm not going to lie it was funny watching the "spoilt Arab boys" hitting on the foreign girls at the club 400.

I should actually say that I watched 3 and a half films because I walked out of La Teta Asustatda (The Milk of Sorrow). I'm sure it's a great film but I guess I wasn't feeling too appreciative and just had a long day. From what I gathered, thousands of women were raped and murdered in South America in the 80s and 90s and apparently a type of disease is passed on to women who suffered during this time. Fausta, the main actress who is actually very pretty, has this disease and is living a paranoid life so she inserts a potato in her vagina to protect herself from anyone who tries to rape her. There was an actual shot showing her cutting the roots of the potato, which was growing inside of her. It's really sad she had to do that... and sad I had to see that... don't know if I can eat a potato again. I spose I should be more grateful...


  1. mayooooo great to hear what you had to say about 3 films I have been anticipating to watch haha Brother, Amreeka, and City Of Life are at the top of my list! I have to admit already im pretty impressed with the idea of a film being shot in dubaaai! It is a dubai version of Crash... literally! Yazzy

  2. It's heavily promoting Dubai but hey, that's what sells right :) thanks for your comment bella xx