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    Marci Tate
    Manager of Public Relations
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    Three Recent Arab Films to be featured in "Films of the Arab World"

    ATLANTA, April 6, 2010 – The High Museum of Art will present the “Films from the Arab World” series from Saturday, April 10, through Saturday, April 24. The series features three recent Arabic films, including the award-nominated Egyptian film “Dunia: Kiss Me Not on the Eyes.” The festival is co-sponsored by the Alif Institute in Atlanta.

    “The High is please to again partner with the Alif Institute on this program of films from the Arab world,” said Linda Dubler, curator of media arts at the High. “As diverse as the Arab world itself, these three films explore the collision of modernity and tradition, and show us the human face of conflicts, whether they be personal or political.”

    The festival opens on Saturday, April 10, with Lebanese director Jocelyne Saab’s “Dunia: Kiss Me Not on the Eyes,” a lushly photographed and beautifully scored film that follows an Egyptian woman, Dunia, in her search for self. Dunia is a student of both dance and poetry whose work is stunted by her inability to tap into her sensuality and womanly identity. Her teacher, an ardent public intellectual, urges her to recognize the ecstatic strain in her culture’s artforms, but she must first confront the traditions that have destroyed her capacity for pleasure before she can experience it. This film is in Arabic with English subtitles.

    From director Rashid Masharawi, the dark urban comedy “Laila’s Birthday” will be shown on April 17. Abu Laila wasn’t always a cab driver in the West Bank Palestinian city of Ramallah. Before the government ran out of money to pay his judicial wages, this proud, thoughtful and philosophical man was a judge who was respected for his fairness and viewed as a pillar of the community. This wry and rueful film is the story of an eventful and frustrating day in Abu Laila’s life. This film is in Arabic with subtitles.

    The series closes on Saturday, April 24, with Iraqi-French director Abbas Fahdel’s film “The Dawn of the World,” a love story that is also a tale of political turmoil. Mastour and his cousin Zahra are destined to marry, and both expect to live their lives much like their ancestors, who did not welcome contact with the modern world. But when the Gulf War begins, Mastour is forced into service. His fate on the battlefield and the responsibility he thrusts upon his friend Riad will change not just Zahra, but the whole community. This film is in Arabic with subtitles.

    Film Series Schedule
    Unless otherwise noted, all films begin at 8 p.m. and are screened in the Richard H. Rich Theatre, located in the Memorial Arts Building, adjacent to the High at Peachtree and 15th Streets in midtown Atlanta (MARTA stop N5).

    “Dunia: Kiss Me Not on the Eyes”
    Saturday, April 10
    (Egypt, 2006, 108 minutes.)

    “Laila’s Birthday”
    Saturday, April 17
    (Palestine/Tunisia/The Netherlands, 2008, 71 minutes.)

    “The Dawn of the World”
    Saturday, April 24
    (France/Iraq/Germany, 2008, 95 minutes.)

    Support
    This program is co-sponsored by the Alif Institute in Atlanta (www.alifinstitute.org). 35mm projection facilities in the Rich Auditorium were provided by a gift from George Lefont. Tickets
    To purchase tickets in advance go to www.high.org, visit the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or call 404-733-5000. Tickets for all shows are $7 general admission and $6 for students, seniors and Museum members. Patron-level members enter free. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the night of the screening.

    The High Museum of Art
    The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.high.org.

    The Woodruff Arts Center
    The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.

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