1. Program
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  3. Film Series
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  5. Yearnings and Unfulfilled Dreams: from the Personal to the Political.
September 2023

Yearnings and Unfulfilled Dreams: from the Personal to the Political.

Curated by ALFILM – Arabisches Filmfestival Berlin

Dreams and yearnings are essential drives for personal development and individual accomplishment. The longing for freedom, equality, recognition, love, or sexual satisfaction, etc. are in films often the axis around which the protagonist’s journey of self discovery and realization is built. Yet in the films of this series, the path to the fulfillment of the character’s dreams is obstructed by social and cultural hindrances, transforming the personal yearnings into acknowledged or unconscious desires for social change. Confronted with obstacles, the protagonists are brought to rethink the connections between self and world, experience and ideology. The personal dreams become expressions of political struggles against existing systems of oppression. Anchored in the Arab world of the last decades and in the face of the events that shaped this region during this period, the films’ narratives, centered around individual paths of self-fulfillment, become a wide reflection on the desire for social, cultural and political transformations, and on the potential for or impossibility of change in the Arab countries at a given point in history.

ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin is the largest platform for the promotion of the diverse Arab cinematography in Germany. Its aim is to highlight films from the Arab world and its diaspora that have a high artistic value and present challenging perspectives on contemporary cultural, social and political issues. ALFILM offers a lively platform for critical discourse, intercultural exchange, and future synergies and cooperations.

Funded by Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken with support from the BMZ and LEZ with support from the Land of Berlin



Ayten Amin, Egypt / Tunisia / Germay 2020, 96 Min., OV with English subs, DCP


Basma Alsharif, Palestine / France / Belgium / Qatar 2017, 77 Min., OV with English subs
Mars at Sunrise

Mars at Sunrise

Jessica Habie, Palestine / Canada / USA 2014, 75 Min., OV with English subs