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Tawfik Saleh: the dupes [al-makhdu’un]

March 6, 2013 8:00 pm

In parallel with Jananne Al-Ani’s solo exhibition, groundworks, Beirut art center gives carte blanche to the artist to propose a screening around the same theme.

The dupes [al-makhdu’un]

Tewfik Saleh

107′, 1972, b&w, Arabic with English subtitle

Set in 1950s Iraq, the dupes is a stark and stately black-and-white film that traces the destinies of three different men brought together by their dispossession, their despair, and their hope for a better future. The protagonists are Palestinian refugees who are trying to make their way across the border into Kuwait, the “promised land,” concealed in the steel tank of a truck. Each one believes he can make a new life for himself, but as the film title suggests, their flight is no solution. One of the first Arab films to address the Palestinian question, the dupes is based on the 1962 novella “men under the sun” by assassinated Palestinian writer, artist, and resistance leader, Ghassan Kanafani.