Middle East Films Available from the Middle East Center

*All films below are in DVD form. To access these films, email zchlenoff@fsu.edu


20 Years Old in the Middle East (2003)

Filmed after the fall of Saddam Hussein, this movie traverses the region to take the pulse of Arab and Iranian youth. The film offers an opportunity for Western college students to truly understand the lives and attitudes of their Middle Eastern counterparts.


A Perfect Day (Lebanon)

A haunting drama about loss and reconciliation, this movie illustrates a day in the life of a woman and her son, both permanently scarred by the Lebanese Civil War of 15 years ago.


Bab ‘Aziz: The Prince who Contemplated his Soul (Tunisia and Iran)

This film begins with the story of a blind dervish and his spirited granddaughter. Together they wander the desert in search of a great reunion of dervishes and along the way they encounter travelers with stories of their own.


Beaufort (Lebanon)

After 18 years dug into a heavily fortified mountain deep in occupied Lebanon, the last Israeli soldiers receive orders to abandon their posts and come home. The fort’s brash commander struggles to keep himself and his men safe from a faceless enemy that would turn withdrawal into massacre.


Control Room

This film explores the relationship between the Western and Arab worlds and reveals how satellite television has changed the way wars are reported.


Crossing the Bridge: Sound of Istanbul (Istanbul)

This documentary introduces the diversity and uniqueness of the historic and recent expressions of musical creativity in the heart of Istanbul.


Forget Baghdad (Iraq, 2002)

Traveling to Israel in search of his father’s former colleagues from the Iraqi Communist Party, director Samir locates Shimon Ballas, Sami Michael, Samir Naqqash, and Moussa Houri. All four men are now accomplished Arab Jews who had at one time been card-carrying Communists forced to flee their homeland in the late 1940s and early 50s.


Goal Dreams: A Team Like No Other (Palestine, 2006)

How can a sports team without a recognized homeland, no permanent domestic league, no place to train and with players and coaches scattered around the globe compete in the world of modern football? Founded in 1928, the Palestinian Football Association is considered one of the oldest football associations in the Arab world. Follow the team as they prepare for the 2006 World Cup.  


Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces (Tunisia, 1990)

A sensitive, comical look at the difficulty of growing up under the puritanical codes of Islam, this film is also a rich, vibrant portrait of the Arab neighborhood of Halfaouine, with its array of colorful and eccentric citizenry from whom Noura learns the complicated was of adulthood.


I Want to See (Lebanon and France, 2006)

While in Beirut to attend a glamorous banquet, legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve insists on being taken to the southern regions of Lebanon in order to see first-hand the devastation caused by Israel’s month-long bombing campaign there in the summer of 2006.


Iraq in Fragments (Iraq, 2006)

An opus in three parts, this movie offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits illustrating the lives of those in a war-torn country.


Istanbul: Travel Guide DVD

Travel with Estelle Bingham as she explores Istanbul.


Leave and Become (Israel)

The magnificent story of an Ethiopian boy who is airlifted form a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel in 1984 during Operation Moses. Shlomo is plagued by two big secrets: He is neither a Jew nor an orphan, just an African boy who survived and wants to fulfill his Ethiopian mother’s parting request that he “go, live, and become.”


Muslim Spain (Spain)

This documentary presents the Muslim history of Spain, which held the banner of civilization when Europe had fallen into darkness.


Offside (Iran)

The Tehran soccer stadium roars with 100,000 cheering men – and only men. According to Islamic custom, women are not allowed, and the ambitious girls who manage to sneak in are caught and sent to a holding pen, guarded by male soldiers their own age. Duty makes the young men and women adversaries, but duty can’t overcome their shared dreams, mutual attraction, and ultimately their overriding sense of national pride and humanity.


Only Human (Israel/Palestine, 2004)

This irreverent family comedy fuses brilliant characterization and unrelenting humor to rework the age-old story of meeting the parents with a thoroughly modern twist. When Leni introduces her fiancé, Rafi, to her idiosyncratic Jewish family, everything goes smoothly until the lovers belatedly reveal that Rafi is Palestinian.


Persepolis (Iran)

This is a poignant story about a young girl in Iran during the Islamic revolution, when people’s hopes were dashed as fundamentalism took  power.


Searching for Peace in the Middle East (Isreal/Palestine)

This is a vivid and compassionate portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Through the voices of Israelis and Palestinians of diverse backgrounds, it explores the issues that divide them and reveals their hopes and fears.  


The Color of Olives: A Story of Everyday Lives in Palestine (Palestine)

Follow the Amers family and learn of their constant struggles, the small details that sustain them, and their many friendships as they live surrounded by the West Bank wall.


The Druze (Lebanon)

This documentary provides a vivid portrait of the Druze community in Lebanon.


The Edge of Heaven (Turkey)

This movie weaves overlapping tales of friendship and sexuality into a powerful narrative of universal loves. Six characters are drawn together by circumstance and reveal much about the human condition and contemporary world.


The Iran Hostage Crisis: 444 Days to Freedom (Iran)

This film interweaves rare documentary footage with personal reminiscence and contemporary video to vividly relive the trials of captivity and the euphoria of release.


The Lizard (Iran)

This is a compelling tale of a thief whom in his quest to escape from prison, discovers that it’s the actions of a man that’s important and not his garb, and that even a thief can inspire people to do good for their fellow man.


The Maronites (Lebanon)

Using rare footage and insightful interviews, this documentary traces the history of ancient Maronites to modern day.


The Syrian Bride (Syria, 2004)

Mona’s wedding day may be the saddest of her life. Once she crosses the border into Syria, she will never be allowed back to her beloved family in the Druze village of Majdal Shams. The Syrian Bride is a powerful film about physical, mental and emotional borders and the courage it takes to cross them.


The Visitor

When, in a chance encounter on a trip into New York, Walter discovers a couple has taken up residence in his apartment in the city, he develops an unexpected and profound connection to them that will change his life forever.


The West Bank Wall: Life on Both Sides (Israel/Palestine)

A 600-kilometer wall of concrete and barbed wire- Israel’s official answer to Palestinian attacks. Visiting the West Bank town of Abu Dis, located on the route of the barrier, this program explains how Israel’s solution is a Palestinian problem.


Turkey: Travel Guide DVD

Travel with Justine Shapiro as she works her way through Turkey.


Waltz with Bashar (Lebanon)

Inspired by actual events, this movie chronicles one man’s descent into his own half-forgotten past. Filmmaker Ari Folman, an Israeli veteran of the First Lebanon War, encounters an old friend suffering from nightmares of the conflict. Ari begins to wonder why his own memories are full of gaps and he endeavors to uncover the truth.