Rochester, N.Y., April 9, 2019—In commemoration of the lives of the victims of the atrocities at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in New Zealand, and in solidarity with Muslim people, the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum will present three films by renowned filmmakers Youssef Chahine (Egypt), Jafar Panahi (Iran), and Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey). The film series, Salam (“peace” in Arabic) was organized by the Eastman Museum in partnership with the Islamic Center of Rochester, and is sponsored by the William & Sheila Konar Foundation. Admission to all screenings is free.
The Salam film series will begin on Sunday, April 21, with a screening of Youssef Chahine’s Destiny (Al-massir, Egypt/France 1997). All films in the series will be shown in the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum (900 East Avenue) on select Sundays at 6 p.m.
Sunday, April 21, 6 p.m.
(Al-massir, Youssef Chahine, Egypt/France 1997, 135 min., 35mm, Arabic, French w/subtitles)
The true story of the great philosopher Averroes, whose commentaries on Aristotle are fundamental to our current understanding of the Ancient Greek philosopher’s writings. In twelfth-century Andalusia, the south of Spain, Averroes is appointed a judge, but his rulings and writings are the target of a growing movement. His loyal band of students and followers vow to keep his teachings alive, but when the caliph who appointed him dies, his position becomes vulnerable. Filmed in Lebanon and Syria, and directed by arguably the greatest Egyptian director, this wonderful epic utilizes occasional musical interludes to punctuate the story of a man who deserves to be recognized and remembered.
Sunday, June 16, 6 p.m.
The White Balloon
(Badkonake sefid, Jafar Panahi, Iran 1995, 85min., 35mm, Persian w/subtitles)
Prior to being handed a twenty-year ban on filmmaking in 2011 (he has made four films under this restriction so far), Jafar Panahi was one of Iran’s most celebrated directors. His soulful, contemplative, and formally daring films were primarily focused on the family unit and its place within the culture. The White Balloon, his debut film, follows a brother and sister in their adventures to procure a new goldfish for the New Year’s celebration. Panahi traveled throughout Iran in an effort to include all of the country’s ethnicities in the cast of his film. Though overlooked on its release, the film went on to win the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and launched the career of one of the most respected filmmakers in the world. A great film for the whole family!
Sunday, June 23, 6 p.m.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
(Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/Bosnia and Herzegovina 2011, 157 min., 35mm, Turkish w/subtitles)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s work in this current decade has elevated his standing as a giant of world cinema. His purposeful camera composes paintings of light, allowing the audience’s eye to linger and pick up every detail, enhancing the uneasiness of everyday life. In this film, a doctor, a prosecutor, a commissioner, and a band of policemen escort a murder suspect through rural Anatolia in search of a corpse. Traveling under cover of night, the men slowly unravel the mystery behind the murder even as their own secrets and mysteries come to the surface. Composed in rich, painterly images—sometimes lit only by the headlight of a car—the film won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
For more information, visit eastman.org/dryden.
About the Islamic Center of Rochester
The Islamic Center of Rochester was established in 1975 as the Muslim population in the Greater Rochester area was experiencing exponential growth beginning in the 1960s. The Islamic Center welcomes more than 500 families as members of the organization, including Muslims who were born in the United States, Muslims who have accepted Islam as their religion, and immigrants from Muslim countries across the world. For more information, visit www.theicr.org.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic landmark estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, a pioneer of popular photography and motion picture film. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books and archival materials related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. The museum has an active program of exhibitions in its galleries and presents about 300 motion pictures annually in its Dryden Theatre. For more information, visit eastman.org.