Watch Out – MOVE IT!

© MOVE IT! Filmfestival

Anyone who visits our blog at least once a week will know how we are fans of movies. For our weekly tips included in our “What’s On in Dresden” posts, we regularly try to include a movie for one of the days of the week as we know many of our international researchers also share a similar passion for the cinematic world. Movies are not only a popular and accessible form of entertainment but also provide a powerful platform for filmmakers to transmit their ideas and perspectives of the world. We are happy to announce that our favourite film festival – “MOVE IT!” – is back for another round of formidable movies on human rights and development you cannot miss!

The Festival

Beginning on Thursday, November 8, the Thalia movie theatre in the Neustadt welcomes Dresden’s most mind opening and thought provoking annual film festival. Once more under the theme “Watch out – MOVE IT!” the festival organized by Akifra e.V. will reach its 14th edition, making it one of the oldest ongoing film festivals with a focus on human rights and development in Germany. Throughout the course of a week, both German as well as international movies that deal with these themes will be on show. The fact that a number of film producers choose to premiere their movies here highlights the importance of the festival for movies focusing on human rights and development.

The festival consists not only of movies but also promotes discussions between the audience and directors, producers, experts, and even politicians. Rounding up the program, the 4th Dresden Film Prize awards ceremony will take place on Saturday followed by a festival party with a delicious buffet featuring food from various African cultures.

Given that the festival takes place throughout an entire week and that all movies are shown with English subtitles, there is no excuse not to take part! In order to facilitate the choice of what movies to watch, we put together a list of the event highlights, listed below. For the full program, please click here. We look forward to seeing you all at Thalia; Watch out – MOVE IT!  

Thursday, 8 November, 9:45 p.m.: Burkinabè Rising

In the fall of 2016, director Iara Lee traveled throughout the country to film Burkinabè Rising. Through this journey, she met a remarkable cast of artists, musicians, and activists who are using the country’s artistic traditions to propel forward a message of resistance. In addition to profiling individual artists, the movie documents a festival of recycled art and interviews groups of farmers who are standing up to the encroachment of corporate agriculture. Displaying a panorama of creative resistance, the film shows how the resurgent Burkinabè pursuit of peace and justice manifests itself through cultural expression, permeating every aspect of daily life. An open discussion with Michal Tomaszewski und Ezé Wendtoin from the Banda Internationale will follow after the movie.

Friday, 9 November, 6 p.m.: Al Gami‘Ya (What Comes Around) 

‘One big family’ is how protagonist Um Ghareeb describes the ‘al Gami’yas’ in Rod El Farag, one of Cairo’s poorest districts. In these communities, which comprise several members of the quarter’s inhabitants, everyone regularly contributes a small amount of money into a pot. At weekly meetings, a collective decision is made as to who is currently the neediest, or who will receive some cash in order to purchase something they really need. Reem Saleh spent six years following the members of one such community with her camera. She reveals their daily struggle for survival and lets them have their say when it comes to their attitudes to tradition, sickness and death. Whilst some of these testimonials, such as the thoughts of one girl named Dunia on female genital cutting, are disturbing and leave questions unanswered, women who rule the roost at home in their families are also featured. The film’s understated use of music and the proximity and participatory nature of the camerawork allows Saleh to create an intimate portrait of mutual support and solidarity in an inhospitable world poised, quite literally, between the railway tracks.

Saturday, 10 November, 7:30 p.m.: Muhi – Generally Temporary

A Palestinian boy who has a life-threatening immune disorder is caught in immigration limbo, which makes it impossible for him to leave the hospital. For the past seven years, Muhi, a boy from Gaza has been living in an Israeli hospital, unable to return home. He is saved and raised in paradoxical circumstances that transcend identity, religion and the conflict that divides his world. The movie explores Muhi’s complex and often contradictory world, torn between two homes and two identities. The film offers an evocative portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in human terms. It is also story about belonging, revealing both exceptional challenges and friendships, as well as inspiring resilience within the back drop of this age-old conflict. An open discussion with producer Jürgen Kleinig will follow after the movie.

Monday, 12 November, 7 p.m.: Casablanca Calling

Casablanca Calling is the story of a quiet social revolution in Morocco. In a country where over 60% of women have never been to school, a new generation of women have started work as official Muslim leaders. They are called Morchidat or spiritual guides. Casablanca Calling follows three Morchidat – Hannane, Bouchra and Karima – as they set out to change their country, starting at street level. The Morchidat have a mission: to teach an Islam based on compassion, tolerance and equality, and to separate its true teachings from prejudice, misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Their work takes them into mosques, schools, homes, orphanages, prisons, and out in the countryside. They support the education of women and girls’; campaign against early marriage; and encourage young people to build a better Morocco, rather than dreaming of life in the West. Casablanca Calling is an intimate portrait of three Morchidat, a society in transition, and a mission to educate a nation. An open discussion with documentary film producer and leader of the organisation for female right in the muslim world “Rights under the veil”, Roberta Chimera, will follow after the movie.

Wednesday, 14 November, 7 p.m.: City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts is a singularly powerful cinematic experience that is sure to shake audiences to their core as it elevates the canon of one of the most talented documentary filmmakers working today. Captivating in its immediacy, City of Ghosts follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” – a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. With astonishing, deeply personal access, this is the story of a brave group of citizen journalists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today.

All movies will be shown at Thalia, Görlitzer Str. 6, 01099 Dresden; TRAM 13 ‘Görlitzer Straße’ stop.