What do we normally look for when we watch a documentary film? Certainly to discover; the genre connects us to the real world and its truths, to uncover stories we’re unaware of, characters we haven’t met, and places we’ve never been to. But the documentary film isn’t only a mirror of its content or a journalistic article about a topic. The creative treatment of the story is what makes a documentary film an entertaining work of art, and entertainment is a main goal in any film, no matter its genre. What we look for, third, in a documentary film is humanity. The film has to tug at our heartstrings, trigger our feelings and enlighten our humanness.
Based on this criteria, I chose this group of diverse documentaries: Jordanian Mahmoud Al Massad delves into one of the facilities creating fundamentalists in the region in “Recycle”, Tunisian Kouther Ben Hania presents an amazing treatment of a social issue that perplexed the Tunisian Public in “Challat of Tunis”, Egyptian Sherif Nakhla uncovers the history of the most successful Egyptian Rock Band in “Les Petits Chats”, Lebanese Simon El Habre presents a simple story that embodies with purity the history of the Lebanese people in “One Man Village”, and French Karim Gouri discovers his Egyptian roots and poses questions about identity, family and the image of the father in “Made in Egypt”.
Ahmed Shawky - Film Critic & Programmer