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Online Screening May 26-29

ArteEast is pleased to present the upcoming Arab Film Series online program INTIMATE DISTANCE – a Mother’s Day special on the meaning of motherhood and womanhood from the perspective of two renowned female artists and filmmakers Mona Hatoum and Marianne Khoury. 

Hatoum’s personal poetic short film Measures of Distance conveys the intimate relationship between mother and daughter through their exchanged letters during Hatoum’s life in exile, it also reflects a tremendous sense of loss as a result of exile and separation caused by war. 

In her feature length autobiographical documentary Let’s Talk, Marianne Khoury reflects on her own family history, and her complex relationship with her mother  through an intimate and candid conversation between her and her daughter – exploring what it means to be a woman, mother, and an artist in the face of personal, artistic, and national crisis. 

The Arab Film Series online is a monthly program of films and discussions with artists and filmmakers from the SWANA region and its diasporas, presented by ArteEast in partnership with Arab American National Museum and Arab Film and Media Institute

Measures of Distance, Mona Hatoum, 1988, United Kingdom, 16 min

In this video, the artist tries to overcome the effects of distance, and reflects on geography represented in exile due to war, and on the psychological distance represented in each one’s approach to her womanhood. The video beautifully weaves personal images and audio recordings of a very intimate nature, binding the personal with the political.

Reading aloud from letters sent by her mother in Beirut, Hatoum creates a visual montage reflecting her feelings of separation and isolation from her Palestinian family. The personal and political are inextricably bound in a narrative that explores personal and family identity against a backdrop of traumatic social rupture, exile and displacement.


Let’s Talk, Marianne Khoury,  2019 Egypt,  95 min 

A mother and her daughter explore together the trajectory of four generations of women from their family, an Egyptian family from the Levant where life and cinema have been intimately linked and still are. A cross look between family archives where the real and the fiction and the autobiographical films of Youssef Chahine mingle. From Alexandria to Cairo, passing through Paris and Havana, an intimate and visceral narrative where mother and daughter cross space and time to trace destinies and question their emotions.


Image credit: Measures of Distance, Mona Hatoum