The Swimmers is the powerful and visceral story of real life Syrian sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini and their journey from war-torn Syria to Germany, and Yusra’s entry into the 2016 Rio Olympics. Groundbreaking in its showcasing of a refugee story, the film takes viewers on a journey through the Mediterranean and Europe, showcasing their various trials and tribulations as the strive forward to achieve their dream.Continue reading “Director Sally El Hosaini on Showcasing the Refugee Experience in ‘The Swimmers’”
For over a decade, the Syrian Civil War has seen the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of millions of Syrians, and the war sees no signs of ending. But among those who have had to escape their home country, hope and perseverance has persisted among many Syrians, as shown in the riveting first trailer for The Swimmers, set to debut in select US theaters on November 11 and on Netflix November 23.Continue reading “‘The Swimmers’ on Netflix Makes a Riveting Splash with First Trailer”
Ramy Hassan’s stated journey has been finding moral clarity on his life and what it means to be a good Muslim. Only problem is, he’s a constantly selfish screw-up. When we left him at the end of last season, he was at his lowest and most morally depraved, having completely humiliated his new (and immediately former) wife Zainab (MaameYaa Boafo), and rightfully enraging her father Sheikh Ali Malek (Mahershala Ali). Where does he go from here, and how will this inform his apparent crisis of faith in Islam?Continue reading “‘Ramy’ Season 3 Teases a Spiritual Crisis for the Hassan Family”
Even though there’s not a lot to be merry about, we count our blessings and make it merry! We also discuss the wonderful 2020 film Gaza Mon Amour by director brothers Tarzan and Arab Nasser, which shows old love in the middle of Gaza, starring our fave Hiam Abbass. We also discuss the exciting news of We Are Lady Parts Season 2 renewal, Mena Massoud’s new Netflix rom-com coming out soon, and much more!
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation, based on a book that was explicitly and heavily influenced by Middle East and North African (MENA) and Islamic cultures, is out, and we are joined by our friends and fellow MENA critics Hanna Flint and Roxana Hadadi to review it.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 31: ‘Dune’ Review”
We discuss the most recent IDF and Israeli government brutalization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza and East Jerusalem and discuss what the world and the US need to do to help those affected and end the occupation. We discuss what the daily reality is like for Palestinians in the West Bank through Farah Nabulsi’s brilliant short film, The Present, which you can watch on Netflix. Please do what you can to help Palestinians in need.
In the latest installment of The Middle Geeks, we review Wajib by Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir. Mae and Swara talk about what we enjoyed about the film, and how we thought it offered a realistic portrayal of families dealing with generational oppression and how meaningful it is for Annemarie Jacir to tell an intimate story of her people. We also discuss the great news that the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+ will have an Iranian-British writer with Hossein Amini, how we’re looking forward to the Arrow spinoff starring the Canaries, and give our recommendations of what to watch.
(We start our Wajib discussion at the 21:12 mark.)
In the latest installment of The Middle Geeks, we review Nadine Labaki’s 2018 heartbreaking masterpiece, Capernaum. Mae and Swara reflect on the state of conflict in the region, how institutions fail children, immigrants, and the most vulnerable, and how generational trauma affects us as Middle Eastern-Americans. It’s a hard but necessary set of discussions to have. On much lighter topics, we discuss the slew of news from D23, and express our dismay at a change in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow‘s upcoming season.
(We start our Capernaum discussion at the 32:51 mark.)
In the third episode of The Middle Geeks, we review Hulu’s Ramy, an incisive and groundbreaking new series on the Middle Eastern-American experience. Listen to Swara and Mae as we talk about what we loved about the series, how it made us feel about our own identities, and how we think it could have done better. We also break down all the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DCTV news from San Diego Comic-Con and talk about how we’re excited about what’s coming forward!
In the second-ever episode of The Middle Geeks, we cover Netflix’s new original series Jinn, their first ever Arabic language series! Did we enjoy it? Did it present an authentic Middle Eastern experience? Should we be outraged by teenagers kissing as many in Jordan apparently are? Additionally, we talk about how we’ve been enjoying DCTV this season on the CW, what we think it could do better, and what we’re looking forward to. Enjoy!
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