Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A 7-Hour Difference

A few weeks ago, AUS hosted a special screening of A 7-Hour Difference, the first Jordanian film to be directed by a woman. You can view the trailer below.

Let me first say that the film is much better - and a little deeper - than the trailer suggests. When we went to the screening (at which the director was present, neat!), I was mostly there for the cultural experience rather than to really enjoy the movie. The director herself talked down our expectations, presenting A 7-Hour Difference more as a student film since it was the entire cast and crew's first effort at filmmaking, and it was done on a very low budget.

But I ended up totally enjoying the movie! The audience was so great to experience the film with. We were with mostly Muslim Arabs, and then a few foreigners like us sprinkled in there. The Arabs/Muslims all laughed at some parts, us Westerners laughed at others, and other times we overlapped. This is a film that gets culture - and cultural humor - right, on both sides. It would have been easy for the director to villainize the American boyfriend or grossly misrepresent American ignorance or insensitivity, but for the most part, it was a fair portrayal of general American culture. And that made the film a lot of fun to watch, as an American. It's always fun to have a peek at what other cultures think of you.

This film's greatest value lies in the issues it will have you thinking about after the fact. I don't want to spoil anything, because I happen to really like the ending and the way it was portrayed. But the whole walk home, Jeremy and I were talking about the issues the film raised and the context in which the events of the film happened.

I wish everyone could replicate the experience of watching the film with an auditorium full of young Arab single adults, some of whom have been (or are) in Dalia's exact position. But if you just watch it on your own, I think you'll find that you gain some insight into Muslim Arab culture, particularly (upper class) Jordanian culture, in an easy-to-digest way.

Well done, Deema Amr, and I hope the film gets the wider distribution it deserves.


Myrna said...

Oh, I want to see this!

Bridget said...

I hope you can find a way to see it! Maybe an Arabic Club can get their hands on it, or maybe it could be shown at the International Cinema (if that still exists).

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Yes, I want to see it. PDX has a foreign film festival--I'll keep on the lookout for it.

Liz Johnson said...

Ok, that looks REALLY interesting. I kind of doubt I'll get it here unless ND brings it... what are the chances it'll end up on Netflix??


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