Voices of the Middle East and North Africa

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa – February 7, 2007

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In this week’s program, we pay homage to late Italian film-maker Gillo Pontecorvo and present an incredible 40th anniversary Battle of Algiers 3-DVD package featuring a digitalized version of this classic film, which has revolutionized political cinema and continues to have unexpected political reverberations 41 years after its initial release. Among the dozen or so features included in this package are interviews with Pontecorvo as well as filmmakers influenced by this seminal film, such as Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, Mira Nair, etc…, a special documentary narrated by late Professor Edward Said on the importance of this movie, and interviews with surviving Algerian militants and French military officers from the actual battle that the movie was based on. There is also a powerful interview with former American "Terrorism Czar", Richard Clarke, on the parallels between Algeria’s war of independence and today’s so-called War on Terrorism and the lessons to be gleaned from this groundbreaking film. Clarke is also the author of "Against All Enemies", a book critical of the Bush administration’s anti-terror policy.

During the program, we will also hear selections from the music of renowned Palestinian musician and composer Simon Shaheen. Shaheen is an internationally renowned oud and violin player.