Film Collection


Originally prepared by Ellen-Fairbanks Bodman. Updated and maintained by Lousia Moffitt.

ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE EPISODE, April 18, 1997 –Hajj
1997 45 min. VHS
The Hajj. This edition of Nightline follows pilgrims thorough the annual rituals of the Hajj. This presentation has earned positive reviews from a wide cross-section of SERMEISS viewers.

AFGHAN NOMADS; THE MALDAR –Afghanistan
Faces of Change Series
1974 21 min. C Umatic, VHS
Amer Univ Filed Serv, L & N Dupree D: Wheelock
Depicts the interaction between nomadic Maldars and the townspeople of Aq Kupruk, northern Afghanistan. Reveals the mixture of faith and distrust that has kept nomads and sedentarists separate yet interdependent for centuries.

AFGHAN VILLAGE –Afghanistan
Faces of Change Series
1974 45 min. C Umatic, VHS
Amer Univ Field Serv, L & N Dupree D: Wheelock
View of daily life in Aq Kupruk, northern Afghanistan. Shows village bazaar, work activities (grazing, sheep shearing), harvesting wheat, and communal work to clear irrigation canal. No women shown. Unnarrated. Insert titles give some background information.

AFGHAN WOMEN–Afghanistan
Faces of Change Series
1974 17 min. C Umatic, VHS
Amer Univ Field Serv, L & N Dupree D: Wheelock
Activities of a group of women in northern Afghanistan. Shows traditional dress, bead making, and preparation of household goods for an upcoming marriage. Discusses the marriage customs and the society’s attitude toward death, education for women, and women’s place in national affairs.

ARABS IN AMERICA –United States
1981 29 min. C VHS
Wolfe & Friedlander D: UCLA
Recreates the history of Arab immigration to America, the problems Arabs faced and adjustments they made becoming Americans. Imaginative use of old photographs as well as contemporary slides and interviews. Excellent musical score.

THE ARAB WORLD: WHO THEY ARE; WHO THEY ARE NOT –General
1991 50 min. C VHS
Part of a five-part Bill Moyers series, this film explores how the image of Arabs as religious fanatics was formed. Edward Said discusses the richness, diversity, and distinguished history of Arab culture. James Abourezk and Jack Shaheen discuss the dehumanization of Arabs in the American media.

THE ARAB WORLD: IMAGE OF GOD –Islam
1991 50 min. C VHS
Also part of the Bill Moyers series, Moyers and experts discuss the religion of Islam: its history, sectarian divisions, core beliefs, and use by Arab politicians as a legitimizing force. Distortions of the Islamic image in the American media are discussed. “Jihad” is defined and put into context.

ART IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD –General
1993 32:30 min. C VHS
Middle East Institute
A beautiful overview of both Islam and Islamic art, presenting examples of religious and secular buildings, paintings, mosaics, textiles, glassware, book illuminations, and miniatures from throughout the Muslim world. This film demonstrates how art conveys both the unity of belief and the diversity of the people who live in Islamic lands.

BAHRAIN: THE PEARL OF THE ARABIAN GULF –Bahrain
1995 23 min. C VHS
Bahrain-American Friendship Society
An official “chamber of commerce” introduction to the country, its sites, and people: Dilmun civilization, Islamic civilization, folk crafts, foods, fishing, pearling modern themes such as banking, luxury hotels, dry dock, telecommunications. Equally interesting for what is omitted: Sunni-Shia divide, British colonial legacy, tensions with neighbors, expatriate labor.

BAKHTIARI MIGRATION –Iran
1973 52 min. C 16mm
Anthony-David D:FI
Visually splendid coverage of the semi-annual BAKHTIARI migration which, takes about five weeks and covers nearly 200 miles. Half a million people and millions of sheep and goats cross the rugged Zagros mountains in southern Iran twice yearly to move between summer and winter pastures. Features Persian folksinger Shusha.

BEIRUT: THE LAST HOME MOVIE –Lebanon
1991 90 min. C VHS
Essenay Entertainment D: Fox
Chronicles three months in the life of a Lebanese family living thorough Lebanon’s civil war in Beirut’s Christian Ashrafia neighborhood. Winner of seven international awards.

BYZANTIUM: THE LOST EMPIRE –Byzantium
1997 100 min. each C VHS
Part I: Building the Dream / Heaven and Earth
Part II: Envy of the World / Forever and Ever
A three and one-half hour look at “the glory that was Byzantium, powerful legacy of ancient Greece and Rome, the first Christian empire, and the last flowering of classical civilization before it fell to the armies of the Ottoman Turks.”

CAIRO: 1001 YEARS OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE –Egypt
2000 97 minutes total, four sections included C VHS
Fons Vitae: Caroline Williams and Grey Henry
Part I: The Grandeur of Cairo (16 minutes)
Part II: The Word, the Vine and the Star; Spiritual Dimensions of Islamic Art in Cairo (20 minutes)
Part III: Survivors in Stone: 1001 Years of Islamic Architecture in Cairo (51 minutes)
Part IV: Some Saints of Cairo: Counsels of Ibn Ata’ Allah al-Iskandari (10 minutes)
This four-part presentation offers an introduction of the art and architecture of a great medieval city. Certain monuments make several appearances and are viewed from different aspects. This arrangement is intended to give the viewer a better understanding of the structures, forms, and functions.

A CHANCE FOR PEACE: A SIGN OF HOPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST –Arab/Israeli
1993 60 min. C. VHS
CNN Special Report
A brief history of the Middle East conflict between Arabs and Israelis, with the focus on the negotiations leading to the 1993 Declaration of Principles. CNN film footage of the signing of the peace accord in Washington.

THE CHANGING MIDDLE EAST –Middle East
1975 25 min. C 16mm
IFF
Shows the effects of oil production on the economies of the Middle East and discusses the economic and social changes that are occurring Brief but unbiased mention of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Dated, but with great diversity of scenes, sometimes without adequate identification of specific cultures and sites. Good introductory film, particularly with emphasis on rising middle class and urbanization.

A COMMON GROUND –Muslim World
1987 25 min. C VHS
Prod: David Nalle for Middle East Institute
Exploring the communalities as well as the differences among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, this film emphasizes the shared beliefs as outweighing their divergences and offers a refreshing selection of unusual visuals. The pace is contemplative. This is not a dramatic production, but gives great insight into three religions; it surprises many; it provokes discussion.

DAUGHTERS OF THE NILE –Egypt
1992 47 min. C VHS
Dir/Prod: Joop van Wijk and Hillie Molenaar
A direct and powerful treatment of women in contemporary Egypt, with interviews with a young urban servant in a wealthy household, but with focus on a small rural village south of Cairo.

DAYS OF RAGE: THE YOUNG PALESTINIANS –Arab-Israeli conflict
1989 90 min. C VHS
Pacific Productions
A Palestinian perspective of the intifida, featuring interviews with Palestinians from a broad cross section of the population, supplemented with news clips.

EGYPT: QUEST FOR ETERNITY –Egypt
1982 60 min. C VHS
National Geographic; Vestron Video
A look at the civilization of ancient Egypt through the monuments and tombs of the Nile Valley.

EGYPT: STRUGGLE FOR STABILITY –Egypt
Arab Experience Series
1976 28 min. C 16mm
An honest, comprehensive picture of contemporary Egypt and its massive economic and demographic problems from the point of view of various segments of its population. A national portrait rich in detail and insight, perceptive of family values and the inherent dignity and pride of Egyptians. Recommended.

FACES OF CHANGE SERIES –See under individual titles:
AN AFGHAN VILLAGE
NAIM AND JABAR
WHEAT CYCLE
AFGHAN WOMEN
AFGHAN NOMADS: THE MALDAR

FACTORIES FOR THE THIRD WORLD –Tunisia
1979 43 min. C 16mm
Troeller, Defarge D:ICF
Surveys the history and economic change and development in Tunisia with footage of actual factory experiences and interviews with owners and workers to exemplify the responses of the working class to changes. Advanced.

FAMILIES OF THE WORLD: TURKEY –Turkey
1976 20 min. C 16mm
UNICEF
This unpretentious pictorial diary of the Arslan family who live in a village 60 miles east of Istanbul – their daily life as well as a trip to Istanbul, is authentic and appealing although dated when it comes to city scenes. The “study questions” posed by the narrator invite thoughtful
watching of the film as well as viewer participation.

FAMILIES OF THE THIRD WORLD: YEMEN –Yemen
1976 19 min. C 16mm
UNICEF
Although dated, this portrait of rarely-filmed Yemen contrasts the roles of two young people in a traditionalist Muslim society: a 17-year old Hasan, already married, earns money as a motorcycle taxi driver for his schooling, typifying the lower-middle class aspiration to better living through education. Upper class Halima intends to enter university to prepare to become a teacher, despite the objections of her father. Good scenes of 1978 Ta’iz as well as rural areas.

THE FENCE by Alexandre Trudeau
2004 46 min. C Bullfrog Films
Filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau spent a season working and living with families in Israel and in the West Bank. His documentary is the intimate tale of families on opposing sides of the security barrier in the Jenin-Afula area.

THE FIFTH PILLAR OF ISLAM –Hajj
1992 35 min. C VHS
Information Office of the Saudi Arabian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
This film offers a view of the modern Hajj, following a group of pilgrims through each stage of the ritual. Numerous references made to the efforts by the Saudi government to modernize facilities and make the pilgrims’ experiences more rewarding.

FOLK ART OF THE ARAB WORLD –Middle East
1995 20 min. C VHS
Arab-American Women’s Society of Georgia
A short, locally produced video that introduces the Arab world through a selection of paintings, pottery, textiles, metal crafts, and music.

GEOMETRY, SYMMETRY, AND ORDER: ISLAMIC ART IN THE PERSIAN TRADITION –Iran
1992 20 min. C VHS
Dir/Prod Helen V. Graeff
This intriguing introduction to the Islamic art of Iran – its traditions, philosophy – uses film, animation, and slides with a particularly valuable sequence on calligraphy. Outstanding musical score.

GIFT OF ISLAM –Middle East
n.d. 28 min. C 16mm
Graham Associates for Exxon
Excellent introduction to the great cultural achievements of the Islamic world, contributions to the West in the fields of architecture, engineering, astronomy, medicine, crafts, metallurgy, the arts, and philosophy. Stresses that “each civilization is nourished by others.”

THE GLORY AND THE POWER: FUNDAMENTALISM OBSERVED –Middle East
1992 60 min. each C VHS
WETA PBS Video
This three-part series explores the rise and impact of fundamentalism in three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

FIGHTING BACK. The program explores the diverse aspects of Christian fundamentalism in the United States profiling, among others, Randall Terry, head of “Operation Rescue,” and convicted Watergate conspirator and born-again Christian Charles Colson.

THIS IS OUR LAND. Filmed in Israel, this program focuses of Gush Emunim (“the bloc of the faithful”), a sect of radical, religious Jews who are spearheading the settlement of the West Bank.

REMAKING THE WORLD. This program profiles activist Muslims in Egypt who believe their ailing society can be cured by a return to the Islamic values of ages past.

GREETINGS FROM IRAQ –Iraq
1993 28 min. C. VHS
Dir/Prod: Signe Taylor for the Department of Communications, Stanford University
Filmed in 1992, this documentary focuses on the legacy of the Gulf War and the impact of the subsequent embargo on the lives of Iraqi children and their families in Baghdad. This personal and provocative record of daily life forthrightly questions the validity of the UN policy.

THE HAJJ, ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE EPISODE, April 18, 1997 –Hajj
1997 45 min. C VHS
This edition of Nightline follows pilgrims thorough the annual rituals of the Hajj. This presentation has earned positive reviews from a wide cross-section of SERMEISS viewers.


IN ARAB LANDS: AN AGE OF CHANGE –Spain, Gulf States
1979 28 min. C VHS
Bechtel/Sunset Films D: Bechtel
Filmed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Spain. Addresses the challenge and response to precipitant change in these traditionalist areas, carefully avoiding ethnocentric stereotypes. Good survey of the history of the Arabs, Islam, and the contributions from Muslim lands to Western knowledge. Mild propagandistic flavor does not impair usefulness.

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH –Islam Morocco
1970 76 min. B/W 16mm
Granada TV D:Ind. U and NET
Examines the culture, history, and scriptures of Islam by studying aspects of life in the Muslim community of Fez, Morocco. Emphasizes importance of Qur’an and shows ceremonies and rituals surrounding events such as circumcisions, bargaining for a wife, and marriage in the Moroccan context.

THE INNER LIFE –Middle East
Traditional World of Islam Series
1976 30 min. C 16mm VHS
Institutional CineMA
Deals with the historical and contemporary importance of Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam as revealed in poetry, music, art and architecture. Profiles the roles of Sufi masters in leading others in their search for spiritual union with God. No mention of personal Sufism to the lay Sufis integrated into society.

INTRODUCTION THE ARAB WORLD –Middle East
1989 45 min. C VHS
AMIDEAST
Winner of a Bronze Apple at the 1989 National Educational Film ad Video Festival, and a finalist in the Birmingham International Educational Film Festival, this video is divided into three 15-minute sections, which may be viewed separately or together.

IRAN –Iran
Oil and American Power Series
1979 22 min. C 16mm
Mayer/NBC D: FI
Erratic survey of American policy in Iran from the 1950’s to 1978. Good footage of interviews with Kissinger discussing the Nixon Doctrine and with Ambassador Sullivan discussing the Ayatollah Khomeni. Valuable to those with some background understanding of events in Iran.

IRAN: ADRIFT IN A SEA OF BLOOD –Iran
1987 27 min. C VHS
Prod/Dir: Ron Hollis
The title is a misnomer. Here is a confident Iran, committed and devoted to the ideals of Khomeini, even after eight casualty-ridden years of war with Iraq. Iranians from all walks of life explain their sincere beliefs, their acceptance of martyrdom. Albeit one-sided, this film offers westerners insight into the Iranian party line.

IRAN: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE –Iran
1992 40 MIN C VHS
Sina Productions. Inc.
A “travel film” produced by the Iranian government since the end of the Gulf War. This film is an interesting study in image building.

IRAN: TEMPTATION OF POWER –Iran
1976 43 min. C 16mm
Troeller, Defarge D: Icarus
Documents many of then internal contradictions in the Iranian economy that brought about the collapse of the last Shah’s regime in 1978-1979. It is thus a prophetic analysis of Iran made at a time when few observers were as prescient as the makers of this film.

IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS–Iraq
2006 94 min. C 2DVD
Dir: James Longley Typecast Releasing
Three-part documentary of a war-torn country from Sunni, Shia, and Kurd perspectives. The film consists of three stories: an eleven-year-old boy in Baghdad who has lost his father and has had to become an apprentice in a garage, a segment on Sadr followers in two Shiite cities who are involved in elections and the enforcement of Islamic law, and a family of Kurdish farmers who are glad the US has come. Winner of nine film awards and nominated for an Oscar.

THE ISFAHAN OF SHAH ABBAS –Iran
1975 28 min. C 16mm
Fogg Museum D: FOTH
Surveys the resplendent 17th century architectural achievements in Isfahan commissioned directly by Shah Abbas and his successors. Oleg Grabar offers scholarly commentary on both monuments and details of tiles, paintings, and calligraphy.

ISLAM: AN INTRODUCTION –General
1980 24 min. C VHS
The National Committee to Honor the Fourteenth Centennial of Islam
A good general overview of both Islam and the history of the Middle East. This film is appropriate for secondary and introductory-level college students. The film comes with a guidebook of lesson plans and teaching suggestions

ISLAM: A PICTORIAL ESSAY IN FOUR PARTS –Islam
1995 90 min. C VHS
The Islamic Texts Society
An audio-visual program on Islam featuring over 300 slides of masterpieces of Islamic art and architecture, as well as photographs of important sites throughout the Muslim world. The focus is on beliefs, culture, and history of the Islamic world.

ISLAM IN AMERICA –General
1992 60 min. C VHS
The Christian Science Monitor
A good general overview of Islam as it is practiced in the United States. This film is especially appropriate for use in the classroom as it is arranged in thematic segments.

ISLAM IN AMERICA AFTER SEPTEMBER 11TH
2002 57 min. C Vital Visuals, Inc.
A riveting look at the impact of the September 11th attacks on the
American Muslim community. Several American Muslims from around the
country share their memories band stories of what happened to them and
their communities after the events of September 11th.

ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM AND DEMOCRACY –Middle East / Egypt
1993 57 min. C VHS
Prod/Dir: Julie Gal for Galex Productions
Completed in 1991 after two years of filming, narrated by National Public Radio’s Scott Simon, this film is a provocative survey of the forces of democracy and Islamic fundamentalism in today’s Middle East. Interviews with a diverse selection of both Arabs and Americans – including a rare vignette with Shaykh Omar Abdel Rahman just two weeks before the bombing of the World Trade Center – tend to paint a black and white picture, devoid of gradations of positions and the existence of Islamic moderates.

JERUSALEM: WITHIN THESE WALLS –Jerusalem
1986 59 min. C VHS
A kaleidoscopic view of Jerusalem’s Old City and its inhabitants, focusing on the most venerated shrines of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD –Middle East
Traditional World of Islam Series
1976 30 min. C 16mm VHS
Institutional Cinema
Explains the religious impulse behind the Islamic search for knowledge; learning is a recognized duty of pious Muslims, drawing them close to God by means of greater understanding of His creative acts. Details schools, universities, and Islamic contributions to math, astronomy, medicine, and navigation.

MAN AND NATURE –Middle East
Traditional World of Islam Series
1976 30 min. C 16mm VHS
Institutional Cinema
Emphasizes the Islamic view of the balance between society and environment with man the link between nature and God. Examples of pre-modern and some pre-Islamic technological adaptation in building styles and agricultural techniques.

MECCA, THE FORBIDDEN CITY –Saudi Arabia
1962 52 min. VHS
Abol Razai Iranfilm
This is still the classic film of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, leading the viewer through the ritual step be step. The involvement of the individual as an individual as well as the sense of Islamic community is implicit. More recent films show the modernization of Hajj facilities, but lack verisimilitude.

THE MIDDLE EAST IN TRANSITION –Middle East
1994 56 min. C VHS
Prod: Julia Johnson White, Peter White III for the Southern Center for International Studies
his sturdy five-part educational review of US/Middle East relations, problems, and policies, with a brisk pace and enlivened by humor, is a flexible springboard for discussion. A study guide accompanies the video.

MIDEAST: LAND AND PEOPLE –Middle East
1977 20 min. C 16mm
Voc and Ind Films D: BFA
The strength of this visually attractive film lies in its emphasis on regional diversity unified by the common bonds of Islam. Attention is given to the countries of Morocco and the Gulf States as well as Turkey and Iran. Ethnic minorities are ignored, problems overlooked, and the conclusion that modernization will solve all is simplistic.

MODERN EGYPTIAN FAMILY –Egypt
1977 17 min. C 16mm
This unpretentious film states bluntly that the “modern Egyptian family” here viewed is of the upper middle class minority whose lifestyle is the optimum sought by all. Without attempt at interpretation, the semi-documentary creates an atmosphere of warm family interrelationships. The strength is in the normative blend of the 1977 modern and traditional and the dispelling of stereotypes.

NAIM AND JABAR –Afghanistan
Faces of Change Series
1974 50 min. C Umatic, VHS
Amer Univ Field Staff, L & N Dupree D: Wheelock
Presents two teenage boys of northern Afghanistan, their hopes, fears, home life, friendships, and cultural surroundings. Follows them farming with their father, on a trip to the market to buy some used clothes, and applying for entrance to school.

NAWAL SAADAWI: UNVEILING THE MIND –US/Egypt
1994 22 min. C VHS
Dir/Prod: Lindsay Miller for Duke University On Line
The appealing and informative autobiographical survey of Nawal Saadawi, Egypt’s leading feminist, is conducted by Dr. Miriam Cooke of Duke University.

AL NAKBA –Arab-Israeli
1998 56 min. VHS
Landmark Media
This film tackles the events surrounding the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, detailing how and why 750,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees in 1948. Arab and Istaeli witnesses together with Professor Benny Morris of Ben-Gurion University describe what happened and offer commentary.

NOMAD AND CITY –Middle East
Traditional World of Islam Series
1976 30 min. C 16mm VHS
Institutional Cinema
Contrasts the lifestyles of nomad and city-dweller of classical tradition, pointing out the symbiosis as well as the tensions between them. Features crafts and their role in both societies and cities of Fez and Sana’a. Villages, towns, and agriculture are not represented.

NORTH AFRICA/SOUTHWEST ASIA: WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR CHANGE? –North Africa
1988 15 min. C VHS
Population Reference Bureau: Agency for Instructional Technology
This film asks students to consider the consequences of using water in new ways, focusing on families living in Tunisia, Australia, Brazil, and the United States. Part of the Global Geography Series, this film would be useful in middle and secondary geography classes.

OASES OF THE SEAS: AN INTRODUCTION –Gulf States
TO THE ARAB STATES OF THE GULF
1984 55 min. C VHS
Amer Educ Trust
Edwin Newman narrates this serious overview of the countries bordering on the Persian Gulf – Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, summarizing their history and the impact of petrodollars. Stresses developmental achievements, particularly in the areas of education, communication, health, and social services.

THE OIL KINGDOMS SERIES –Gulf States
See under individual titles
This series on Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman is hosted by journalist Jop Franklin-Trout, using on-site interviews. Her goal is to demythologize this area of the world for Americans, offering insight into contemporary social life as well as politics and plans for the future. There is confusion at times about just where she is.
1. PETRODOLLAR COAST
2. SEA OF CONFLICT

PALESTINE: 1890-1990 –Arab-Israeli
1994 50 min. VHS
This film was favorably reviewed by Ken Perkins in the MEOC newsletter. While he found several inaccuracies and broad generalizations, he felt it was a useful overview of the time period.

PATTERNS OF BEAUTY –Middle East
Traditional World of Islam Series
1976 30 min. C 16mm VHS
Institutional Cinema
Formal Islamic aesthetic traditions in art, architecture, and calligraphy put into the context of praise of God and artistic creation as an act of piety. Examples from Safavid Iran, Ottoman Turkey, and Mughal India.

PEOPLES OF ISLAM –Islamic World
1982 20 min. C 16mm
This competent, photographically striking film emphasizes the geographical extent of the Islamic world, from Nigeria to Indonesia. The focus is of the universality of Islamic principles underlying a diversity of practices and the challenge confronting Muslims today of “fusing their way of life within an enduring heritage.”

PETRODOLLAR COAST –Gulf States
Oil Kingdom Series
1984 57 min. C VHS
Franklin-Trout / PBS D: Pacific
Franklin-Trout visits Oman, a nation medieval in 1970 but now modernized. Interviews in the UAE discusses the role of women today and the problem of foreign workers.

PRAY FOR THE KUWAITI HOSTAGES –Kuwait
1992 10 min. C VHS
Dir/Prod: Sulaiman al-Awadi
This short, high-impact film is a poignant plea for world attention to focus on the Kuwaiti POW’s and MIA’s. Grim scenes of Iraqi torture of Kuwaiti prisoners are horrifying. This is a valuable yet discouraging commentary on the plight of human rights in today’s world.

PRICE OF CHANGE –Egypt
1982 26 min. C VHS
Dir/Prod: Elizabeth Fernea for Grenada Productions
This examination of the ways in which Egypt is seeking to deal with the conflict between overpopulation and traditional values shows local pioneering women using and dispensing birth control devices. With earthy humor, women are finding out that, although they now have a choice or even necessity of working outside the home, they do not necessarily experience this as a liberating choice.

PROSPECTS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST –Arab-Israeli conflict
1992 120 min. C VHS
ECHO D: B.J. Fernea
Israeli, Palestinian and American peace advocates share their hopes about the prospects for peace in the Middle East. Questions from a live audience at various educational centers in the U.S. enliven the discussion. The video conference addresses the situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories, differing perceptions concerning the history of the conflict, obstacles to current peace negotiations, and the international context of the conflict.

QUEST FOR CHANGE: CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE MIDDLE EAST –US/Middle East
1994 29 min. C VHS
Dir/Prod: August Richard Orton and Steve Talley for Banda Productions
Based on the research of the Civil Society in the Middle East program, five scholars from Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and Turkey challenge the view that the Middle East is immune to the global trend of democratization and address directly the prospects for political reform. Dealing with the viability of civil society as well as the goals of Islamists, they offer diverse potentials for democracy in the Middle East.

RIVERS OF FIRE –Middle East
1991 40 min. C VHS
Landmark Films
The film highlights the current Middle East conflict over a natural resource more valuable than oil – water. Specific segments deal with the damming of the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers and the controversy over water resources claimed by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and the Palestinians.

SAUDI ARABIA: THE KINGDOM –Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Series, #1
1981 60 min. C VHS
Franklin-Trout / PBS D: Pacific
Discusses, with many interviews, how Saudi Arabia handles its oil production and invests its surplus petrodollars in securities, businesses and properties outside the country. Gives insight into the Saudi royal family with a glimpse of governmental processes. Assesses future problems and roles in international politics.

SAUDI ARABIA: THE OIL REVOLUTION –Saudi Arabia
Arab Experience Series
1975 25 min. C 16mm
Anthony-Thomas D: LCOA
Probes the internal tensions of Saudi Arabia since the oil boom. Discusses the reforms of King Faisal and the ways some of them clashed with ideas of orthodox Muslims. Points out the difficulty Saudi Arabia faces in promoting economic development without sacrificing traditional values.

SAUDI ARABIA: THE RACE WITH TIME –Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Series, #2
1981 60 min. C VHS
Franklin-Trout / PBS D: Pacific
Deals with the social and cultural upheaval thrust upon a traditional and conservative society by the sudden influx of uncountable wealth. How do the Saudis purchase a developed economy, modern transportation system and communication systems, health care for all and mass education while retaining their Islamic values and adhering to Quranic law? Scenes of extended family, villa enclaves, and majlis sessions.

SAUDI ARABIA SERIES See under individual titles
1. SAUDI ARABIA: THE KINGDOM
2. SAUDI ARABIA: THE RACE WITH TIME
3. SAUDI ARABIA: OIL, MONEY, AND POLITICS

SAUDI ARABIA TODAY –Saudi Arabia
1979 32 min. C 16mm
Exxon
Discusses the rapid economic development in Saudi Arabia. Sees the aim of the rulers as wishing to underwrite an intelligent, creative and far-reaching development program so that, when oil reserves are depleted, the Saudi standard of living will not fall. Accurate and competent.

SEA OF CONFLICT –Gulf States
Oil Kingdom Series, #3
1983 58 min. C VHS
Documents, with interviews, the volatility of the smaller Arab states in the Persian Gulf with their economies ties to the international oil market and sensitive to both international re\rivalries and crises as well as to more local Arab religious and political pressures.

SOME WOMEN OF MARRAKECH –Morocco
1976 55 min. C 16mm VHS
Granada TV D: Icarus
Shows daily lives of urban women in MARRAKECH, their habits and customs in a variety of settings, all centered on a devout adherence to Islam. Intimate personal situations revealed in sensitive interviews.

SPLENDORS OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE –Ottoman Empire
1991 60 min. C VHS
CARRCON Productions D: Carrier
This film presents a video-taped version of the spectacular exhibit that traveled through the U.S. in 1992, featuring clothing, armor, furnishings, paintings, ceramics, textiles, and jewelry
of the Ottoman Empire. Many items are from the collection at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Good narrative places the objects in their historical context.

THE STRUGGLE FOR PEACE: ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS –Israel
1991 58 min. C VHS
Dir: Steve Talley; Prod: Elizabeth Fernea for PBS
This in-depth and personal look at grassroots peace movements focuses on four groups: The Vigil of Women in Black, the dialogues at Beit Shahur, the Yesh Gvul refusniks, and the Friends School at Ramallah. Unbiased, this film offers insights into the diversity of popular opinions in Israel.

SULEYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT –Ottoman Empire
1987 57 min. VHS
Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery S. Bauman
Produced on location in Turkey, this spectacular and accurate film explores the magnificent architectural and artistic achievements of the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the life and personality of SULEYMAN, the Lawgiver, whose 16th century reign marked the zenith of Ottoman political and economic power.

TIDES OF WAR: ECO-DISASTER IN THE GULF –Gulf War
1992 52 min. C VHS
National Geographic Society, McKinnon Films
This documentary traces the effects of Kuwaiti oil spills on the ecosystems of the coastline and tidal shallows of the Persian Gulf. Also includes footage of efforts to extinguish oil fires and the resulting devastation of the surrounding desert.

THE TRADITIONAL WORLD OF ISLAM SERIES –Islam
See individual titles 16mm and VHS
The focus of this series of six films in indicated by the title word “traditional”: thus these photographically spectacular films display an idealized classical Islam, an Islam of stasis, with little or no indication of modernism, of towns or except in maps and the Hajj sequences, the cultural diversity and range of Islam from Africa to Indonesia.
1. UNITY
2. NOMAD AND CITY
3. MAN AND NATURE
4. PATTERNS OF BEAUTY
5. KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD
6. INNER LIFE

TV’S PROMISED LAND
2003 75 min. Mafi
Disney’s AladdinIndiana Jones, Warner Brothers’ cartoons of crazed Middle Eastern villains, international terrorists…these are America’s pop culture depictions of Arabs and Muslims. This film is a collage off footage from Hollywood movies, cable news networks, European broadcasts, American westerns, etc. asserting that Western media has long demonized a catch-all “Arab-Muslim world.”

UNITY –Middle East
Traditional World of Islam Series
1976 30 min. C 16mm VHS
Institutional Cinema, Inc.
Defines Islam as submission to the will of God, the Qur’an as the Holy Book, the role of Muhammad, loved and revered but never worshiped, the inner meaning of Islamic ritual to the ordinary believer, and the significance of the Ka’ba and Mecca. There is no discussion of the Judeo-Christian background of Islam.

UMM KULTHUM: A VOICE LIKE EGYPT –Egypt
1997 67 min. C VHS
Filmmakers Collaborative
Available to SERMEISS members only
Narrated by Omar Sharif, this documentary is the first to bring Umm Kulthum to an American audience. The film connects her life to the epic story of the twentieth century in Egypt as it shook off colonialism and confronted modernity.

UNVEILING EGYPT –Egypt
1978 22 min. C 16mm
Utah State Board of Education
Deals with Egypt’s government and history, its religion and agriculture, as well as ancient and modern architecture. Secondary level.

A VEILED REVOLUTION –Egypt
1982 26 min. C VHS
This classic film documents various attitudes in the early 1980’s toward the increased popularity ofhijab, forms of traditional Islamic conservative dress. Interviews include a young woman who has chosen this custom and also an older woman who was one of the first to reject the veil.

WHEAT CYCLES –Afghanistan
Faces of Change Series, VHS
1974 16 min. C Umatic
Amer Univ Field Staff, L & N Dupree D: Wheelock
Documents the work of rural people of northern Afghanistan, where life revolved around the annual wheat cycle: plowing, planting, reaping, threshing, winnowing, milling, and bread baking. No narration or subtitles.

WOMEN IN ISLAM –Women
1992 30 min. C VHS
Professor Leila Achmed on the pressures and processes, the impulses and dichotomies that confront traditional women in the modern world and modern women in the world of tradition.

Last updated: 4/26/2013