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2014 | 2013

3 items from 2014


Self-Mocking Scribe Sayed Kashua Gets Serious With ‘Dancing Arabs’

12 December 2014 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Sayed Kashua, the Israeli Arab author, screenwriter and journalist, has made a career of self-mockery. The “Dancing Arabs” screenwriter is perhaps best-known to Israeli auds as the mastermind behind “Arab Labor,” a successful comedy series that debuted in 2007. It made history in Israel not just for being first primetime program with primarily Arabic dialogue, but also for proving that Israeli viewers could fall in love with, and be loyal to, a sitcom about an Arab family.

The series, whose name cheekily refers to a Hebrew slur for shoddy handiwork, enjoyed four seasons backed by local media powerhouse Keshet. But when the time came to write a fifth season, Kashua refused. The writer, who has made no secret of his battles with depression, drinking and perpetual self-doubt, was marooned in a massive midlife crisis, one that led him to question everything from his career to his marriage to his commitment to ever-fractured Jerusalem. »

- Debra Kamin

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Self-Mocking Scribe Sayed Kashua Gets Serious With ‘Dancing Arabs’

12 December 2014 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Sayed Kashua, the Israeli Arab author, screenwriter and journalist, has made a career of self-mockery. The “Dancing Arabs” screenwriter is perhaps best-known to Israeli auds as the mastermind behind “Arab Labor,” a successful comedy series that debuted in 2007. It made history in Israel not just for being first primetime program with primarily Arabic dialogue, but also for proving that Israeli viewers could fall in love with, and be loyal to, a sitcom about an Arab family.

The series, whose name cheekily refers to a Hebrew slur for shoddy handiwork, enjoyed four seasons backed by local media powerhouse Keshet. But when the time came to write a fifth season, Kashua refused. The writer, who has made no secret of his battles with depression, drinking and perpetual self-doubt, was marooned in a massive midlife crisis, one that led him to question everything from his career to his marriage to his commitment to ever-fractured Jerusalem. »

- Debra Kamin

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Israeli Sitcom About Palestinian Family Confronts Racism, Politics

5 June 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Variety’s Under the Radar series looks at movies and TV shows that deserve a closer look.

What: “Arab Labor

Where to watch: Kcet, LinkTV, linktv.org/arablabor

Why watch: The first Israeli series to show Palestinians speaking Arabic on primetime was a groundbreaking mix of cultures, and is now available in the U.S. Often called the “Seinfeld” of the Middle East, the hourlong comedy, named for a Hebrew expression referring to cheap workmanship, is in its fourth season. The show confronts serious issues of racism and politics, while focusing on laughs and Larry David-style misunderstandings in the story of a Palestinian journalist who must cross into Jerusalem daily for work, and of his relationship with his quarrelsome extended family. Created by Israeli-Arab writer Sayed Kashua and producer Danny Paran, the series has won numerous awards, and is already ramping up for a fifth season.

Paran: “That this »

- Pat Saperstein

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2014 | 2013

3 items from 2014


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