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Home / Things Arab Men Say - Multilingual DVD

Things Arab Men Say - Multilingual DVD ONF/NFB

Catalogue Number:  NFB569458
Producer:  National Film Board Of Canada
Language:  English, French
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2016
Running Time:  52:08
Closed Captions:  Yes

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Arab men worldwide are, for the most part, depicted by the mainstream media as terrorists, suicide bombers, or, at best, extremists. Things Arab Men Say, by Egyptian-born filmmaker Nisreen Baker, is an intimate and fascinating documentary that follows eight Arab Canadian friends who reveal a very different picture of Arab men.

Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, this insightful film introduces us to Jay, Ghassan, Faisal, Adnan, Falah, Bashar and Ramey as they gather at Jamal’s Barber Shop for a haircut, a shave, and a little conversation. Topics range from work and family to politics, race and, of course, religion. In the process, they address universal themes such as home, identity, and success, and ultimately, explore what it means to be an Arab in Canada.

We discover how difficult it was for Ghassan, a “stateless” Palestinian, to find a country that would allow him to stay, and how Bashar can’t find decent work even though he has a Ph.D.-level education. We begin to understand the efforts these men—and their families—have made to integrate while simultaneously trying to preserve aspects of their identity and culture.

Although located in St. Albert, an Edmonton suburb, Jamal’s Barber Shop could be anywhere, with this small group of friends serving as a microcosm of the Arab community. As each man waits for his turn in the barber’s chair, their debates, which are often surprising, show the many facets of the Arab community. And once you hear what they have to say, you’ll never succumb to the mainstream message again.

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