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Center for Middle East Studies



Meydan Middle East Film Series at DU


[Square, Field, Plaza, Open Space, Public Gathering Place]


Middle East Film Series at DU
Reiman Theatre—Margery Reed Hall
(SW corner of Evans & University)
Parking information can be found here


About Meydan

Meydan: Middle East Film Series at DU is an invitation to engage with the Middle East on the level of culture and everyday life through the region's extraordinary cinema. Every other Friday night, we present a fascinating film from the Middle East followed by an informal discussion with a scholar of the region — all free of charge and open to the general public, and held in the beautiful Reiman Theatre in Margery Reed Hall (located on the southwest corner of University and Evans).
In Arabic, Turkish, and Persian alike, meydan means square, field, plaza, open space, or public gathering place. The term has deep symbolic significance in the cultural and political geography of the region, embodied in such vital and contested spaces as Cairo's Meydan al-Tahrir (Tahrir Square), Istanbul's Taksim Meydanı (Taksim Square), and Tehran's Meydan-e Azadi (Azadi Square).
Following each screening, one of the two curators of the series will lead a discussion and answer audience questions.

We strive to create unique and intellectually stimulating events for the entire community. We would love community support to keep this film series going. To contribute, please follow this link and put "Meydan film series" in the comment section. 

About the Curators 

Joel Gordon

joel Joel Gordon is Professor of Modern Middle East History and Popular Culture at the University of Arkansas and the former Director of the university's King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies. He is the author of Nasser: Hero of the Arab Nation  (2006), Revolutionary Melodrama: Popular Film and Civic Identity in Nasser's Egypt (2002) and Nasser's Blessed Movement: Egypt's Free Officers and the July Revolution (first published in 1992, reissued in 2016). He is a political and cultural historian of modern Egypt and the Middle East. He teaches and writes about political change, intersections of popular and public culture, historical memory and nostalgia, and religious and secular crosscurrents, with emphases on cinema, music and mass media. He is the host of Nadi Cinema, the Middle East Film Club at the University of Arkansas, and is a Research Affiliate of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.
Carole Woodall

Carole Woodall is Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Women's and Ethnic Studies Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) and is a Research Affiliate of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Her scholarship focuses on the interplay between urban space and cultural practices and its effect upon the formation of modern identities in the late-Ottoman and early Turkish republican periods. She is currently completing a book titled The Decadent Modern: Cocaine, Jazz, and the Charleston in 1920s Istanbul. She is the Executive Curator of the Intersections Film Festival, which provides innovative programming around contemporary political, social, and cultural themes related to the Middle East.


Under the Shadows

Friday, January 19 at 7:30 PM

Under The Shadows

Reiman Theater—Margery Reed Hall,
University of Denver

Directed by Avin Manshadi
(2016, Iran)

Post-Film Discussion Led by Joel Gordon

An Iranian horror film: Malevolent spirits haunt a family caught amidst the terrible bombings of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. Has little Dorsa – or her doll – become possessed? See trailer.
Persian w/English subtitles (84 minutes)

Damascus with Love

Friday, February 16 at 7:30 PM

Damascus with Love

Reiman Theater—Margery Reed Hall,
University of Denver

Directed by Mohamed Abulaziz
(2010, Syria)

Post-Film Discussion Led by Joel Gordon

A comic-romantic love story set in Syria just before the outbreak of civil discord and war. On the verge of migration, Halah learns that Nabil, her old flame, is in fact alive. Her search leads to her rediscovery of Syria's rich ethnic and cultural diversity. See trailer.
Arabic w/English subtitles (95 minutes)

VavienFriday, March 16 at 7:30 PM


Reiman Theater—Margery Reed Hall,
University of Denver

Directed by Yagmar & Durul Taylan
(2009, Turkey)

Post-Film Discussion Led by Carole Woodall

From 'Turkey's Coen Brothers' comes a black comedy centered on a crime of passion. Unhappily married, hopelessly in debt and in love with a low class Black Sea nightclub singer, Celal schemes to steal his wife's inheritance. See trailer.
Turkish w/English subtitles (100 minutes)

AjaniFriday, April 27 at 7:30 PM


Reiman Theater—Margery Reed Hall,
University of Denver

Directed by Scander Cobti and Yaron Shani
(2009, Israel)

Post-Film Discussion TBD

A collage of life and sudden death set in Ajami, the Arab ghetto of Jaffa. A stunning artistic collaboration between Palestinian and Jewish Israeli artists and the first Israeli film primarily in Arabic nominated for an Academy Award. See trailer.
Arabic & Hebrew w/English subtitles (120 minutes)


past films

December 8, 2017
A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral

November 10, 2017
The Herd (Sürü)

October 20, 2017

September 29, 2017
Hasan and Marcos

May 12, 2017
Under the Moonlight

April 14, 2017
Vizontele Tuuba

March 10, 2017
Zaman: Man from the Reeds

February 24, 2017

January 27, 2017
Free Men

September 30, 2016
Winter of Discontent

October 14, 2016
My Father & My Son

October 28, 2016
Taste of Cherry

November 11, 2016
Here Comes the Rain

December 2, 2016
The Bandit