A leg­endary Lion roars at Ara­bic Film Fes­ti­val

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - By Don­ald Clarke

Be aware that the first Dublin Ara­bic Film Fes­ti­val is con­tin­u­ing at the Light House and other venues over the weekend. The event of­fers an eclec­tic ar­ray of art-house fare and more pop­ulist en­ter­tain­ment. Seek out Ah­mad Ab­dalla’s Rags & Tat­ters, a story of the Arab Spring (6pm to­day) and Mo­hamed Hamidi’s Home­land, a more light-hearted Al­ge­rian drama (8.40 pm to­mor­row).

The hot ticket, how­ever, must surely be the screen­ing of Moustapha Akkad’s leg­endary Lion of Desert at 1pm on Sun­day. Largely fi­nanced by the Gaddafi regime, the 1981 epic stars Anthony Quinn as Omar Mukhtar, the Be­douin leader who or­gan­ised re­sis­tance to Mus­solini’s Ital­ian in­vaders. Rod Steiger plays Il Duce.

Fol­low­ing the film, Jim Sheridan, pres­i­dent of the fes­ti­val, will talk to Jim Swire, whose daugh­ter died in the Locker­bie bomb­ing, about is­sues re­lat­ing to that case. Sheridan re­cently con­firmed that he is de­vel­op­ing a film on the con­tro­ver­sial atroc­ity.

“It’s scary what they didn’t re­veal to us at the time,” Sheridan said re­cently. “It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter, the people are dead and you can’t bring them back to life. But in the fu­ture we need clear in­ves­ti­ga­tions of these things, or else you’re go­ing to end up with flight MH370.”

Mr Swire met Ab­del­baset al-Me­grahi, the only man con­victed of the bomb­ing, be­fore his death and has de­scribed the case against him as “rubbish”.

De­tails of the Dublin Ara­bic Film Fes­ti­val, which is pre­sented by Dubai Duty Free, can be found at dubli­nara­bic­film­fes­ti­val.ie.

Be­ing a Be­douin: Anthony Quinn in Lion of the Desert

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