Films

Looking for Oum Kulthum

Looking for Oum Kulthum

Synopsis

Director

Mitra is an ambitious artist in her forties who embarks on her dream project of making a film about the legendary Egyptian singer and diva Oum Kulthum. Her film explores the struggles, sacrifices and the price of Oum Kulthum’s success as a female artist in a male dominated society. However, having left her family behind for her career and in her efforts to capture the essence of Oum Kulthum as a myth, a woman and an artist, Mitra’s own struggles blend with those of the singer and she finds herself caught in an emotional and artistic breakdown.

„Looking for Oum Kulthum“ crafts a visually dazzling, multi-planed mirror between the mid-century Egyptian diva and the contemporary film director seeking a creative connection with her.

„Like those before her who have made films about filmmaking, Neshat includes the frustrations with actors and the struggles to manifest the film the director sees in her head. But she also foregrounds how gender shapes those struggles. One actor ­(„Paradise Now’s“ Kais Nashif) challenges his director, saying she doesn’t know enough about Kulthum. „This is what happens when you give a serious film to a female director,“ he sneers.

Following on the success of her acclaimed moving image installations and her first film, Neshat delivers a gorgeous reflection on art, gender, and her own shifting place in the world.“ – Cameron Bailey, Toronto Film Festival

Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari

Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Ghazvin, Iran) lives in New York City. She completed a B.A. and M.A. at the University of California, Berkeley. An accomplished visual artist, she works primarily with photography, film and video. Neshat’s first full-length feature film „Women Without Men“ (2009) took her from Venice Film Festival in the Best Director Award and later was shown at PÖFF Eurasia competition. „Looking for Oum Kulthum“ is her second full-length feature.

Shoja Azari (b. Shiraz, Iraan) trained as a filmmaker in New York in the 1970s before returning to Iran for the Revolution in 1979. He then permanently returned to the U.S., where he later became artistic and romantic partners with artist Shirin Neshat.

Filmography

  • Shirin Neshat: Logic of the Birds (2002)
  • Zanan-e bedun-e mardan (Naised ilma meesteta, PÖFF 2009)
  • Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017)Shoja Azari: K (2002)
  • Logic of the Birds (2002)
  • Windows (2006)
  • Zanan-e bedun-e mardan (Naised ilma meesteta, PÖFF 2009)
  • ­Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017)

Schedule

19.11.2017
16:00 - 17:30
Tallinn, 
Coca-Cola Plaza
Hall 8
Subtitles: ENG
Screening code: 030503
Sold out
22.11.2017
18:00 - 19:30
Tartu, 
Cinamon
Hall 4
Subtitles: ENG
Screening code: 061801
Sold out
24.11.2017
21:30 - 23:00
Tallinn, 
Coca-Cola Plaza
Hall 3
Subtitles: ENG
Screening code: 080203
Sold out
Screenings with guests might end later than expected.

Programme

Panorama

Film info

Countries: Germany, Austria, Italy, Lebanon, Qatar
Year: 2017
Duration: 90 minutes
Languages: English, Arabic, Farsi
Directors: Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari
Producers: Roman Paul, Gerhard Meixner, Bruno Wagner, Martin Gschlacht, Antonin Svoboda, Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari
Writers: Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari
DOP: Martin Gschlacht
Montage: Nadia Ben Rachid
Composer: Amin Bouhafa
Cast: Neda Rahmanian, Yasmin Raeis, Mehdi Moinzadeh, Kais Nashif
Productions: Razor Film Produktion, coop99 filmproduktion, In Between Art, Vivo film srl, Schortcut Films, Doha Film Institute
Festivals: Venice, Toronto, Hamburg

Synopsis

Director

Mitra is an ambitious artist in her forties who embarks on her dream project of making a film about the legendary Egyptian singer and diva Oum Kulthum. Her film explores the struggles, sacrifices and the price of Oum Kulthum’s success as a female artist in a male dominated society. However, having left her family behind for her career and in her efforts to capture the essence of Oum Kulthum as a myth, a woman and an artist, Mitra’s own struggles blend with those of the singer and she finds herself caught in an emotional and artistic breakdown.

„Looking for Oum Kulthum“ crafts a visually dazzling, multi-planed mirror between the mid-century Egyptian diva and the contemporary film director seeking a creative connection with her.

„Like those before her who have made films about filmmaking, Neshat includes the frustrations with actors and the struggles to manifest the film the director sees in her head. But she also foregrounds how gender shapes those struggles. One actor ­(„Paradise Now’s“ Kais Nashif) challenges his director, saying she doesn’t know enough about Kulthum. „This is what happens when you give a serious film to a female director,“ he sneers.

Following on the success of her acclaimed moving image installations and her first film, Neshat delivers a gorgeous reflection on art, gender, and her own shifting place in the world.“ – Cameron Bailey, Toronto Film Festival

Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari

Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Ghazvin, Iran) lives in New York City. She completed a B.A. and M.A. at the University of California, Berkeley. An accomplished visual artist, she works primarily with photography, film and video. Neshat’s first full-length feature film „Women Without Men“ (2009) took her from Venice Film Festival in the Best Director Award and later was shown at PÖFF Eurasia competition. „Looking for Oum Kulthum“ is her second full-length feature.

Shoja Azari (b. Shiraz, Iraan) trained as a filmmaker in New York in the 1970s before returning to Iran for the Revolution in 1979. He then permanently returned to the U.S., where he later became artistic and romantic partners with artist Shirin Neshat.

Filmography

  • Shirin Neshat: Logic of the Birds (2002)
  • Zanan-e bedun-e mardan (Naised ilma meesteta, PÖFF 2009)
  • Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017)Shoja Azari: K (2002)
  • Logic of the Birds (2002)
  • Windows (2006)
  • Zanan-e bedun-e mardan (Naised ilma meesteta, PÖFF 2009)
  • ­Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017)