Films from Nabil Ayouch and Peyman Moaadi among the highlights of Middle East Film Festival 2014
The festival features screenings of Ali Zaoua, Polluting Paradise and The Snow on the Pines
This year's Middle Eastern Film Festival, which takes place at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh and GFT in Glasgow, offers an insight into the region's current political and social situation through the lens of contemporary cinema. The programme focuses on films from North Africa, showing highlights from Tunisia's golden age as well as new films from Morocco. Look out for Nabil Ayouch's award-winning Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets, a slice of magical realism set among Casablanca's street children. It's a poignant tale about a group of boys who try to find the money to have a fitting funeral for their recently killed friend.
Other films we’d recommend include a polemical documentary from Turkish director Fatih Akin. Polluting Paradise is about the devastating impact on the village of Camburnu after the government instals a rubbish tip nearby. There is also the debut film from Peyman Moaadi, who'll be recognisable to some as the lead actor in Iranian drama A Separation. The Snow on the Pines is a quiet drama about the impact of a man's infidelity on his relationship. And closing the festival is a recent hit from the Venice Film Festival, Bethlehem, a collaboration between Israeli filmmaker YuVal Adler and Palestinian journalist Ali Wakad about the relationship between a secret service officer and his informant.
Middle Eastern Film Festival, Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 16–Fri 30 May.