Featuring works by Dina Amer, Latifa Said and Moumen Smihi
Screening Online: August 12 – 20, 2023
Free / $5 suggested donation
Available in the Middle East, North Africa, United States and Canada
In person screening: Sunday, August 13, 2023
UnionDocs: 352 Onderdonk Ave, Queens, NY 11385
Buy tickets here
UN/BELONGING presents films that share intimate stories from the North African immigrant experience in France. Set in varying temporalities and socio-political contexts, these fiction films reflect recurring and parallel struggles of individuals adapting to new realities in France and North Africa. The leading characters echo each other through scenes of perpetual wandering, in their pursuits for livelihood, safety, freedom, and ultimately, belonging. Despite their best efforts, they are all caught between the clutches of circumstances beyond their control. Yet, in the midst of such unrelenting and indifferent societies, these accounts shed necessary and humanizing light on the lingering realities of alienation and the search for a life worth living.
Dina Amer’s You Resemble Me tells the story of Hasna, a young girl raised on the outskirts of Paris who was torn apart from her sister at an early age and placed in rotating foster homes. Struggling to find her identity and purpose, she finds herself caught in cycles of intergenerational trauma. The audience bears witness to transformations within Hasna, brought on by perpetual disappointments, heartbreaks and institutionalized barriers in her life that lead her on a path of no return.
In Latifa Said’s Unquiet Days, Fadila, a cabaret singer, arrives in a town outside of Marseille in search of refuge during the Algerian civil war (1991-2002). Having fled from Oran due to threats on her life by extremist Islamist groups who opposed her profession, she is faced with feelings of immense loss, solitude and disorientation as she attempts to situate herself in a new reality.
Moumen Smihi’s Si Moh, the Unlucky Man presents a day in the life of a Moroccan migrant worker who has just set foot in France. While roaming the city for work, he encounters other migrants who share his experiences of displacement. This intimate account is rendered through Smihi’s experimental and striking lens alongside an engrossing soundtrack by sound artist Gerard Delassus.
UN/BELONGING is curated by Lila Nazemian. This program is co-presented by ArteEast and UnionDocs and is part of the legacy program Unpacking the ArteArchive, which preserves and presents 20 years of film and video programming by ArteEast. The program will be screened online on artearchive.org from August 12-20 and an in-person at UnionDocs on August 13th. For more info on the in-person screening go to UnionDocs.org
7:30 pm: Doors open
8:00 pm: Screening of You Resemble Me (Tu Me Ressembles) by Dina Amer
9:30 pm: Q&A between Director Dina Amer and Lila Nazemian (ArteEast Special Projects Curator)
Unquiet Days (Jours Intranquilles), Latifa Said, France, 2016, 29 min.
Si Moh, the Unlucky Man (Si Moh, pas de chance), Moumen Smihi, France,1971, 20 min.
You Resemble Me (Tu Me Ressembles), Dina Amer, United States/France /Egypt, 2021, 90 min.
Includes recorded conversation between Director Dina Amer and ArteEast Special Projects Curator Lila Nazemian