The dvd compilation Resistance[s] shows the work of eight filmmakers from the Arabic world. Almost all live and work in either France or the United States.
In much of the work, the themes involve travelling through different cultures as a result of forced or voluntary exile. For example in K3 (Les Femmes) by the French-Algerian filmmaker Frédérique Devaux, in which she subjects old film fragments of women from the area in which she was born with various chemical procedures and draws on the film itself, she creates a beautiful stratification in the image, making the remoteness of past times tangible.
Allahu Akbar of Usama Alshibi is both exciting and surprising. Traditional Islamic patterns from a book he was given by his father are given new life in pulsing animations.The images that Taysir Batnji creates of Palestinians waiting at an Israeli border post are quite political, but you need his explanation provided in the accompanying interview to understand what you are seeing. The other artists are also interviewed, which adds considerably to the dvd.
All in all, the films on Resistance[s] provide a modest counterbalance to the stereotypical images of the Arab world in the media.
Lowave is an independent dvd label from Paris that publishes experimental films and contemporary video. The dvd can be ordered at www.lowave.com.