March 16, 2015 at 8:15 pm

Film: Forget Baghdad, March 16


The Middle East and North Africa Film Series presents Forget Baghdad on Monday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. in Baker Center 231.

Dr. Ziad Abu-Rish

Dr. Ziad Abu-Rish

The documentary (directed by Samir) tells the story of four Baghdadi-Jews, all former members of the Iraqi Communist Party during the 1940s and 1950s. The four elderly protagonists are Israeli citizens at the time of filming, having fled Iraq in the 1950s within the context of escalating Israeli-Arab confrontation and the high tide of Arab nationalism. Fleeing to Israel was hardly a solution for their Jewish-Arab dilemma. As the film description puts it, “Jews in Baghdad and Arabs in Israel,” the divided identities and confusion of these four men’s lives complicate our understanding of identities, migration, and political belonging. This film won the Critics’ Week Award at Locarno International Film Festival.

The film is preceded by a brief introduction from Dr. Ziad Abu-Rish, Assistant Professor of Middle East History.

Upcoming Spring 2015 Screening Events

The schedule for the Spring 2015 OHIO Middle East and North Africa Film Series follows. All screenings will take place in Baker Center 231 at 6:30 p.m..

Monday, March 23: Wadjda

[On Saudi Arabia: Feature, 98 minutes, Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, 2012]

This film tells the story of an 11-year-old Saudi girl living in the capital of the kingdom, Riyadh. Weaving together the politics of class, gender, and religion, the film challenges reductionist understandings of life in Saudi Arabia by highlighting the everyday experiences of this girl and her small neighborhood. This film won the Interfilm Award at the Venice Film Festival.

Monday, March 30: Taxi to the Dark Side

[On Afghanistan and Iraq: Documentary, 106 minutes, Directed by Alex Gibney, 2009]

This film takes off from an investigation into the killing of an Afghani taxi driver at the hands of US interrogators. The investigation, featuring former US interrogators, military prison guards, and–most importantly–families and friends of those detained, exposes a broader network and practice of secret detention, torture, corruption, and cover up, linking Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram Air Base. This film won Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.

 Monday, April 13: The Blue Wave (Mavi Dalga)

[On Turkey: Feature, 97 minutes, Directed by Zeynep Dadak and Merve Kayan, 2014]

A feminist perspective on the story of adolescence in a small Turkish city told through the lens of a teenage girl considering her options for university.

For More Information

For more information, contact Dr. Ziad Abu-Rish, Assistant Professor of History, at

This film series is co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Classics and World Religions, the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, the African Studies Program, and the Islamic Studies Certificate Program at Ohio University, in collaboration with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI).

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