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Syrian Film Program at Queens Museum, in association with AFI’s Executive (Dis)Order: Art, Displacement, & the Ban exhibition

Join us for a special film program organized by ArteEast, featuring two Syrian films –
one animated short and a feature film

in association with Artistic Freedom Initiative’s Community Partnership Exhibtion:
Executive (Dis)Order: Art, Displacement, & the Ban

The screenings will be held on December 16th and repeated on January 19th, both days at 3 pm in the museum’s theater (2nd floor, Queens Museum).

These events are free and open to the public. (Museum admission is by suggested donation.)

Jalal Maghout, Suleima
Syria, 2014, Animation, Color and B&W, 15 min.
Arabic with English subtitles

Suleima is a woman who has been a part of the Syrian revolution since its beginning. Twice detained, she states : “I’d rather die than see someone arrested without trying to help.”

Hala Alabdalla, Ammar Al-Beik, I Am the One who Brings Flowers to her Grave
Syria, 2006, B&W, 110 min.
Arabic with English subtitles

Conceived as a summation of life’s postponed projects, this beautifully shot black-and-white film is a monument to humankind’s great resilience and love of life in the face of loss, exile and death. Interviews with three Syrian women alternate with a variety of impressions: landscape, art, family, and an interview with painter and icon restorer Elias Zayyat. Part documentary, part fable, this is a well-crafted, highly emotional tribute to the rejuvenating power of poetry and beauty in general, and in particular to Da‘ad Haddad, a Syrian poet disappeared in 1991.

Note: This film was first screened by ArteEast as part of Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema, 1960-Present, co-organized with The Museum of Modern Art from 2010-2011. This film is presented as part of ArteEast’s program Unpacking the ArteArchive with partial support from The Community Trust and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Hala Alabdalla studied Agronomy at Damascus University, then left for France in 1981 after being detained for 14 months for political reasons. In Paris, she studied genetics and anthropology before studying cinema. She is the Director of Besieged Like Me (2016), Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013), As If We Were Catching a Cobra (2012), Hey! Don’t Forget the Cumin (2008), and I Am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave (2006). She has taken on various filmmaking roles including writing, producing, casting and production management. Alabdalla has also worked with many Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian directors, among them Omar Amiralay, Mohammed Malas and Oussama Mohammed. She has sat on the juries of many international festivals, including Venice, FID Marseille, France, Rhodes and Vision du Reel in Nyon, Switzerland.

Ammar Al-Beik, director of The Sun’s Incubator (2011) and I am the One who Brings Flowers to her Grave (2006), is an award-winning conceptual artist and independent filmmaker from Syria. He is based in Berlin.

Jalal Maghout is an independent filmmaker from Syria. He is currently working on his master’s degree in Film at Film University Babelsberg as well as other projects. Jalal has produced and directed several short animated films that were screened at festivals around the world, including his most recent animated documentary Suleima. Suleima has been selected for Dok-Leipzig, Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film and ANNECY International Animation Film Festival. He has also served as a jury member at international film festivals including Stuttgart and Annecy. In addition to film, Jalal has experience with music videos, caricatures, comics and painting. Prior to moving to Berlin in 2013, he worked as a teacher at Damascus University. Jalal holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication from Damascus University.