- No unrest here!
As one of those obnoxious people who refuses to subscribe to cable, I don't watch much TV — on a TV, that is — but every morning and every night since returning from Sundance I've tuned into one of the few channels I receive for free: Al Jazeera. Like many of us, I'm transfixed by their live, low-def footage of the massive, occasionally violent protests; turns out, I can watch people throw rocks for hours. But now this is my image of Cairo — chaos — and suddenly a film like Cairo Time, which came out last August, seems woefully dated and naïve. A married Canadian woman (Patricia Clarkson) falls in love with an Egyptian man (Alexander Siddig) whom her husband had asked to watch over her? That's like watching Eat Pray Love after terrorist attacks in India or Bali. This is, of course, an unfair analogy. How could the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, whose North African Film Festival begins tonight, know when it scheduled Cairo Time that the city would be on the brink of revolution? Maybe it's even a welcome coincidence — a necessary reminder that Cairo has been, and will continue to be, a beautiful and romantic city.
The full lineup:
Cairo Time (Feb. 3, 7 p.m.)
Raja (Feb. 10, 7 p.m.)
Bab'Aziz — The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul (Feb. 17, 7 p.m.)
Perspectives on Algerian Cinema (Feb. 20, 1-4 p.m.)
Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Ahmed Bedjaoui (director of National Algerian Cinema), director Rachid Bouchareb (Outside the Law), and others discuss Alergerian cinema.
Outside the Law (Feb. 24, 7 p.m.)
All events are held at the National Museum of African Art.