Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
Anaïs Farine is a cinema studies researcher and a film curator. She holds a Ph.D from the University of La Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III. Her Ph.D thesis focused on the so-called “Euro-Mediterranean dialogue” and its Filmic Imaginary (1995 – 2017). Her writings have been published in Kohl, Cinematheque Beirut, Trouble dans les collections, Ettijahat, Débordements, The Funambulist Magazine, Africultures, and Aniki, among others. She is a member of the organizing committee of the Festival Ciné-Palestine (Paris).Profile text Anaïs Farine is a cinema studies researcher and a film curator. She holds a Ph.D from the University of La Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III. Her Ph.D thesis focused on the so-called “Euro-Mediterranean dialogue” and its Filmic Imaginary (1995 – 2017). Her writings have been published in Kohl, Cinematheque Beirut, Trouble dans les collections, Ettijahat, Débordements, The Funambulist Magazine, Africultures, and Aniki, among others. She is a member of the organizing committee of the Festival Ciné-Palestine (Paris).
The making of “Arab alternative cinema” and its audiences
Babelsberg, Beirut, Damascus, Leipzig
As was the case a decade or so ago, when Rasha Salti and Daikha Dridi put out a compelling issue of ArteEast dedicated to this topic in order to update a “dormant part of Arab memory”, the history of film-clubs remains under-documented. However, film-clubs, as “spaces for free expression and activism” are an integral part of the social and cultural history of the cities and protest movements. Some films participate in the struggle and desire for social and political transformations. They document this will while giving it its forms. The visibility of these films, as well as their possible actualization in gestures in public space and daily life is also intimately linked to the existence of places allowing to come together and bring out Dissensus. It is therefore interesting to focus on the history of the spaces in which the screenings are organized, on the films selected by the film-club organizers and the form of the debates put in place.
The launch of the Arab Ciné-Club in Beirut, one year after the discussion around the creation of an “Arab Alternative Cinema” in Damascus, illustrates the growing importance of such films in the early 1970s. The “Arab Alternative Cinema” was characterized by an innovative approach to film forms and narratives while participating in the political struggles of the global 68. By seeking to counter the lack of visibility of “Arab Alternative Cinema”, the co-founders of the Arab Ciné-Club (Borhane Alaouié, Ibrahim Ariss, Walid Chmait and Georges Rassi) pursued a number of political and cultural ambitions. This film-club plays a central role in my current research on the history of film-clubs in Beirut and was one of the only places that screened films affiliated with the movement at that time in Lebanon.
During my research on the programming in film clubs, conducted in various archives in Lebanon, I frequently encountered testimonies of filmmakers or articles dedicated to the “Arab Alternative Cinema” movement (Kais Al-Zubaidi, Kassem Hawal and Faisal Al-Yasiri) which highlight the importance of Babelsberg school as well as of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. Devoted to the history of Beirut ciné-clubs in the 1970s and the mobility of students and filmmakers from the Middle East to Germany, my research project aims to analyze the “Arab Alternative Cinema” using a transnational perspective by focusing on the production of filmic ideas established within these films and on the exhibition of Arab alternative films in Lebanon and GDR.
Based on a systematic analysis of private and institutional archives as well as interviews with the Arab Ciné-club committee members and with former members of the film-club audience, I will look for and meet with the moderators and the audience members to document their daily activism and the kind of relations they established between each other at the film-club, as well as the type of mediation the film established in this particular space of debate.
- “What comes after August: rebuilding collective strength through feminist filmmaking”, An interview with Sarah Kaskas and Liliane Rahal conducted by Danielle Davie and Anaïs Farine, in Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research, August 2022.
- “Vers un troisieme cinéma / نحو سينما ثورية. Une introduction à la traduction par Dirâsât ‘arabiyya du manifeste de Fernando Solanas et Octavio Getino”, in Cinematheque Beirut, April 2022.
- “Archives Nitrates. Représentation, pollution, explosion : sur la piste d'effets sauterelles”, in Troubles dans les collection, N°2, « Toxic », September 2021.
- “In Dark Times: Epistolary Films for Absent Friends”, in Ettijahat – Independent Culture, November 2020.
- “Le centre est efface, mais la mer brille”, in Carnets de la Fondation Camargo, October 2020.
- “Al-khat al-moubachar, entretien avec Reine Mitri et Rami Sabbagh réalisé par Anais Farine”, in journal Debordements, April 2020.
- “Avec Kais Al-Zubaidi : Retour sur un cinéma alternatif”, in journal Ecrans. 2019 – 2. n° 12. Lisières esthétiques et culturelles au cinéma, pp.195-214. Arabic translation for Romman: Pierre Girard.
- “Recollection, Kamal Aljafari, 2015. Cinematographic experiments for a Reappropriation of the City of Jaffa”, in The Funambulist N°21 "Space & Activism", January 2019, pp.54-55.
- “La médiatisation des arts méditerranéens sur le site internet Med-Mem”, in Esthétisation des médias et médiatisation des arts, L'Harmattan, 2016, pp.185-192.
- “Révolution Zendj (Tariq Teguia, 2013), Polygone étoilé sur fond de Méditerranée”, in Jeux sérieux. Cinéma et arts contemporains transforment l'essai, Ed. Mamco, 2015, pp.289-299.
- “Alger, Bruxelles, Montpellier, Tétouan : Une analyse de la circulation de films de la région MENA dans quatre festivals de cinéma méditerranéen”, in Africultures, 2015/1, N°101-102, pp.54-69.
- “Tétouan – Marseille : notes festivalières”, Aniki : Portuguese Journal of the Moving Image, vol.1, No 2, 2014, pp.415-421.
- “Aux frontières poreuses des cartes palestiniennes et de l'art contemporain”, in Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée, N°134, 2013, Presses Universitaires de Provence, pp. 71-83.