Namibian Premiere: “My Name is NOT Ali” by Viola Shafik, Sat, 23.02.2013, 19h00, Goethe-Centre

my name is not ali

On Saturday, 23 February 2013 at 7 pm AfricAvenir invites to the Namibian Premiere of the Egyptian-German documentary „My Name is Not Ali“ (Germany/Egypt, 2011, Original with English subtitles, 94 min) by Viola Shafik. His anti-racist film “Ali – Fear Eats Soul” (Original title “Angst Essen Seele Auf”), 1973, gained German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder international acclaim. The protagonist, an Arab foreign worker, was played by Moroccan El Hedi Ben Salem M’barek Mohammed Mustafa, Fassbinder’s lover at that time. Collage-like, through interviews of his colleagues, family and archive material, "My Name Is Not Ali" courageously deals with the racism of post-war German society and uncovers the invention of El Hedi Ben Salem by the Fassbinder troupe, an image not revised by most of its members till today.

Press
“Eyebrow-raising moments come via the often surprisingly unenlightened racial attitudes aired even today by veterans of the Fassbinder circus who've lived to tell the tale (albeit in contradictory versions). Still invested in preserving their own roles in a now-legendary era, several seem eager to belittle supposed bit players like Salem.” Variety

“While the film itself courageously deals with the racism of post-war German society, its makers reproduced the insensibility and invention of the Other, fantasizing their own ‘Salem'. Collage-like, through interviews and archive material, My Name Is Not Ali uncovers the invention of El Hedi Ben Salem by the Fassbinder troupe, an image not revised by most of its members till today.” AfriCine

Cast
Mohamed El-Hedi Ben Salem (Jarrary) worker, actor, night watch († 1976)
Abd El-Kader Jarrary teacher
Najat GhribiHamdan Jarrary trader
Zakia Jarrary housewife
Zeina Jarrary housewife
Hafsia Mellaim housewife
Reqaya Zkoura teacher
Chadhlia Zkoura cleaning woman
Ahmed Lecomte (Mellaim) businessman
Renate Leiffer assistant director
Irm Hermann actress
Karl Scheydt actor († 2009)
Hans Hirschmüller actor
Rudolf Waldemar Brem actor
Thea Eymész film editor
Nikolas Notter judge retd.& lawyer
Marie Odile Notter psycho-sociologist retd.
Kurt Raab set designer & actor († 1988)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder film/theatre director & actor († 1982)

About the director
German-Egyptian film scholar and filmmaker Viola Shafik has directed documentaries including “The Lemon Tree”, “Planting of Girls”, and “My Name is Not Ali”.

She studied Arts, Middle Eastern Studies and Movie Sciences in Stuttgart and Hamburg. Between 1998 and 2005 she gave lectures at the American University in Cairo in which she focused in particular on film production, introduction to filmarts, movie genres, introduction to the documentation as well as the history of the Arabic film. 

Shafik is also the author of the books “Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class, and Nation“ and “Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity“. Since it was first published in 1998, “Cinema: History and Cultural Identity” has become an indispensable work for scholars of film and the contemporary Middle East. 

Combining detailed narrative history, economic, ideological, and aesthetics with thought-provoking analysis, “Arab Cinema” provides a comprehensive overview of cinema in the Arab world, tracing the industry’s development from colonial times to the present. 

Since 2007 Shafik is a jury member of the al-Rawi Screenwriters Lab (Royal Film Commission, Jordan), the World Cinema Fund (Berlinale), and the Dubai Film Connection.

My Name is NOT Ali
Viola Shafik, 
Germany/Egypt, 2011, Original with English subtitles, 94 min
Date: Sat. 23. February
Time: 19h00
Entrance: 30,- N$
Venue: Goethe-Centre, Auditorium


The film series African Perspectives is supported by the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, WhatsOnWindhoek, and the Goethe-Centre Windhoek. 

This screening is made possible with financial assistance by the Finnish Embassy in Windhoek and with support of MEC Film and the Goethe Institute Munich.

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