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Berlin Premiere: "The Dream of Shahrazad" with Director Francois Verster in Attendance


Info   Eintritt: 6€ / 5€ (erm.). Anbindung: U6 Reineckendorfer Str/M27; U9 Turmstraße/M27; S+U HBF/123


The Dream of Shahrazad, looks at recent political events in Egypt and Turkey through the lens of the famous story collection known as the 1001 nights. At once observational documentary, concert film and political essay, it uses the metaphor of Shahrazad (the princess who saves lives by telling stories) to explore how creativity and political articulation coincide in response to oppression. A Turkish youth orchestra conductor uses Rimsky-Korsakov’s Shahrazad suite as a tool for political education. A young Lebanese actress reconciles her past by becoming an internet activist in Egypt. An older visual artist finds his “dream of Shahrazad” in the appearance of a beautiful young storyteller. An Alexandrian storyteller meets with the mothers of martyrs of the Revolution and turns their testimonies into new storytelling performances.

"A phenomenal interweaving of fantasy [with documentary reality]… a film which leaves you gasping for breath." Elretha Britz, Die Volksblad

"Francois Verster’s The Dream of Shahrazad is a fascinating dissection of the presence of art amidst political upheaval in Egypt and Turkey, countries both impacted by ‘the Arab Spring’ (...) The Dream of Shahrazad has become one of the most investigative and imaginative interpretations of the fissures created by the Arab Spring, through its ability to examine how these fault lines have shattered other spheres outside of the revolution itself…" Jeremy Elphick, 4:3 Film

"One of the most powerful films I have ever seen." Collette Herzenberg, University of Stellenbosch

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB72dFwQ7JY

The screening will be folowed by a discussion with director Francois Verster.

Francois Verster
Francois Verster is a multiple-award winning independent documentary filmmaker based in Cape Town, South Africa.  His films generally follow “creative” observational approaches to social issues and have all won local and international awards and been broadcast around the world – these include SEA POINT DAYS (2009), THE MOTHERS’ HOUSE (2006), the Emmy-winning A LION’S TRAIL (2002), WHEN THE WAR IS OVER (2002) and PAVEMENT ARISTOCRATS (1998).  He has taught documentary directing and film studies at Columbia University, NYU, Bowdoin College, the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape, City Varsity, Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking and elsewhere, and has published on documentary film in journals and anthologies.  He has appeared on various festival juries and has had eight international festival retrospectives or special focus series on his work; his films have been used in various seminars on the intersection between creative documentary and social activism

An event by AfricAvenir in cooperation with Filmrausch.

The film series "African Reflections" is financially supported by Aktion Afrika by the Federal Foreign Office, by Brot für die Welt and Katholischer Fonds.

Media Partners: Africiné, Freunde RFI, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Humboldt Universität, AfroHeat, AL Film Festival, Yedd e.V.

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