New Film on Sanaa


The first showing of a documentary film entitled: “Sanaa In the Eyes of Creators” had its premier in Sanaa on Saturday August 19, 2017. The nearly one-hour long film was produced by the Qatar-based filmmaker Dr. Fuad Abdulaziz. In coordination between AIYS and Dr. Abdulaziz, the film premiered at the Yemeni Center for Studies and Researches (YCSR). The limited audience included  Yemen’s great poet and author Dr. Abdulaziz al-Maqalih, a few researchers and a representative of AIYS for watching the film.

Dr. al-Maqalih, far right

This documentary mainly focuses on two main ideas: Sanaa as an ancient city and Sanaa under attack since 2015. In the first part, filmed mainly in 2013 and 2014, the producer highlights Sanaa as an old city that inspires a variety of Yemeni artists. The second part  deals with the impact on Sanaa of the bombing.  The film, as its title bears, is designed to reflect Yemeni artists’ and intellectuals’ views and impressions on the old city of Sanaa. It also shows the old city’s troubles caused by the ongoing civil war and Arab coalition military intervention in the conflict. The film provides an overall picture of the old city created by dozens of shots and quotations, including poetry. The producer devotes major space to the Yemeni artists’ testimonies. A number of prominent creators give their opinions on the old city of Sanaa that inspired their artistic works as created by authors, painters, poets, singers and other artists.

The film commences and ends with a testimony by Yemen’s great poet and author Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqalih, who has been deeply inspired by the old historic parts of Sanaa. Then, Dr. Amina al-Nosairi, a very well known Yemeni painter, talked about the historic city, displaying a number of her artistic works inspired by Sanaa. A second female painter was quoted too. After that a Yemeni cameraman, Zakaria al-Olaya ,gave his testimony. He actually worked as a cameraman for the producer of the film and contributed to filming on location. Al-Olaya frequently appeared expressing his opinions. A quite famous Yemeni actress and songstress also was interviewed, voicing her views about the old city and other topics.
A young woman, working as radio broadcaster, repetitively appeared in the film. Often she appeared while she was acting as a host-presenter. Sometimes she gave her testimony as one of Sanaa’s residents who has been experiencing the war-time troubles. A young video-photographer also appeared complaining about the war troubles and impact upon his job. The film concluded with reciting few verses from Dr. al-Maqalih’s famous poetry collection entitled “Sanaa.”

Dr. Abdelaziz’s film on Sanaa premiered last November at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association in Boston.