sheikh_jackson_still_1_copy_-_h_2017-2There are films from 92 countries entered for the Foreign Film category of the Oscars.

Among these are eight films from Arabic-speaking countries.

Several of the films deal in various ways with the impact of the conflict in Syria.

There is the documentary from Syria, “Little Gandhi,” which follows the life and death of Syrian activist Ghiyath Matar.

But also, from Algeria, “Road to Istanbul,” directed by Rachid Boucharer, which deals with a girl travelling to Syria to join the jihad.

Then there is Iraq’s “Reseba: The Dark Wind,” described as “the first feature film about the Yazidi people.”

From Morocco, there is Nabil Ayouch’s “Razzia,” described here as an “everything-is-connected drama about five characters snared by intolerance.”

Tunisia’s “The Last of Us”, directed by Ala Eddine Slim, is a strange, wordless film about migration and belonging.

And from Egypt, “Sheikh Jackson,” directed  by Amr Salama, deals with a religious cleric’s crisis of faith after learning that his childhood idol, Michael Jackson, has died.

From Lebanon, Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult,” is the story of conflict between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee.


Finally, Annemarie Jacir’s “Wajib,” the Palestinian entry, deals with the strained relationship between a father and son (played by a father and son), and how they deal with the tensions between them during a famil wedding.

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