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Selves and Others: A Portrait of Edward Said (2004)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 26 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

Known as one of America's great contemporary intellectuals and a prominent spokesperson for the Palestinian cause in the Unites States, Said died in September, 2003 at the age of 67. ... See full summary »

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Title: Selves and Others: A Portrait of Edward Said (2004)

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Known as one of America's great contemporary intellectuals and a prominent spokesperson for the Palestinian cause in the Unites States, Said died in September, 2003 at the age of 67. Shortly before his death, a French film crew spent several weeks with him and his family. The Result is Selves and Others, an intimate documentary that offers a glimpse at some of Said's final reflections on the themes that dominated his work. Written by Arab Film Distribution

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9 November 2004 (Denmark)  »

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The last days of the Palestinian's cause greatest intellectual
20 August 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

A must see, this documentary (not be confused with the much longer and comprehensive 2004 biopic) brings us Saïd's last days, prior to his untimely death in 2003.

In a twist of fate, a French crew armed with a Betamax recorder spent time with him and his family at the end of his life, offering us an exceptionally intimate look at his (literally) final views and reflections on the themes which dominated his life's work.

Based on the ratings and number of votes I saw on this site for the 2004 documentary, I think many users voted for that film, though meaning to judge and actually having seen this one, which continues to have more exposure in the Americas, in the Third World, and most importantly politics aside (as much as that's possible). Both films deserve the excellent rating they boast. Your rating really depends on your interest and attention span.

However, this film, at a captivating 54 minutes and with its unique timing has a touch of reality and conciseness that the other one lacks, by mere timeliness and authenticity. This film directed by Emmanuel Hamon has also enjoyed the personal and forceful promotion by him himself, the director, and by the Institute of Arab Culture, throughout Brazil, at least, where I have now accompanied its showing at, two or three more festivals here in less than 9 months.

And, NOT just at another Arab Film Festival, or a usual semi annual showing of national performing arts, but a full fledge Mediterranean Festival of dance, music, theater, literature, gastronomy, fashion, children's activities, etc. at over 60 cities and towns in Southeastern Brazil alone.

The Israeli Festival, coincidentally, also with excellent films, in much richer if not opulent venues, with Rubin Mehta and Israel Orchestra's, just as a by-the-way factoid, just ended days ago. It was however mostly funded by Jewish and Israeli group, while this one is funded primarily by the Business and Educational Council. The timing was not planned to compete with each other.

The various "Mediterranean" groups were on tour throughout the area just now. The "Jewish week" is always around this time, and wa1s planned for months.

Yes, Sao Paulo (city) alone is a metropolis of 20 million alone - the state has 40 million, with one of the heaviest and maybe the best succeeded Arab & Syriain-Lebanese immigrant communities anywhere in the world. But, it's almost totally Christian. In fact (though not totally open said), the Arab community here is more in tune with mainstream Israeli politics, than the Orthodox Jews we have here, since they are Arabs, but Christians, and very Orthodox at that, in the best known cases.

The Syria, Palestine and Lebanon left behind, and still revered here as the "old land" no longer exists, as these Arab-Brazilians came here to avoid Turkish Ottoman (Muslim) persecution, which ultimately prevailed.

But, not insisting so much on local ethnicities and returning to this film, I mist say that in few if any places in the world, can a film like this and others in the Films Section be seen and judged as an Arab film, and not as Muslim culture vs. the Judeo-Christian world Work.

And this is truly a film of universal understanding, with national and religious prejudices taking a back seat here. Don't miss it.


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