Showing posts with label Bassam Kassab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bassam Kassab. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review of 'Sin Visa' Film


Sin Visa is an independent, poignant film that broaches the topic of immigration in a powerful, thoughtful and unique way.  At a time when immigrants seem to be systematically portrayed en masse by so many media outlets, this film succeeds in humanizing the immigrant experience by reminding us all of the individuality and uniqueness of every immigrant that has ever crossed the border.

Sensitively written, in Spanish, by Bassam Kassab, this 81-minute drama takes us upon the often horrifying journey of Marco, a 17-year old Mexican who crosses the border in search of work, security, and a better life.  What he finds instead is that the road ahead is filled with treachery, exploitation, and a total lack of humanity.

This is not to say that this film does not offer hope, for the script does introduce us to characters that actually help Marco in overcoming various obstacles while adjusting to his new life.  These multi-ethnic characters serve to underline the need for various immigrant communities to support each other and, as such, offer a fresh and realistic alternative to traditional immigrant narratives.

This film was brilliantly directed by Ana Simoes, nicely edited by Egyptian Director Maher Sabry, and features a moving performance by Edgar-Arturo Camacho-Gonzales in the part of Marco.  That strong lead serves to keep the film on track and enables us to truly understand the real and constant danger that defines the lives of so many immigrants to the US.  The rest of the cast is also quite impressive and, at times,  so believable that one starts feeling that one is watching a real-life documentary instead of a fictional drama.

The film's soundtrack is also quite worthy of praise and includes new songs, in Arabic and Spanish, by Lebanese singing sensation Mike Massy.  Massy's voice is perfectly suited for the kind of  ballads, lamentations and odes that set the somber mood of the film.  One of the songs 'Ya Ummi' (written in Arabic by Bassam Kassab and recorded by Mike Massy) is so heart wrenching that several members of the audience could be heard literally sobbing their hearts out.

This film is highly recommended for anyone who is seeking a different way of broaching the topic of immigration all over the world today.  It contains some scenes that can be disturbing for some but none of these are gratuitous or sensational in nature.  They are, however, quite haunting as one feels the after-effects of this film long after having watched it.

--Reviewed by Ramzi Salti, Ph.D. (Stanford University)

For more info, see http://www.zarcofilms.com/sin-visa.html
For my interview with Bassam Kassab: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology99#t=15:33

SIN VISA TRAILER: https://youtu.be/3ckqLQlG7Mw


'Ya Immi' by Mike Massy (Sin Visa Soundtrack): https://youtu.be/Z_iNVTo9y9o


PICTURES FROM SIN VISA PREMIERE AT THE ROXIE (SAN FRANCISCO):


Sin Visa Cast at the Roxie

Actor Edgar-Arturo Camacho-Gonzales (left) with singer Mike Massy

Egyptian Director/Editor  Maher Sabry with Sin Visa Director Ana Simoes

Bassam Kassab and Mike Massy at Sin Visa After-Party

Friday, April 3, 2015

3/31 Arabology Podcast Available

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology99

Arabology 9.9 aired on March 31, 2015 and included and interview with Bassam Kassab (who spoke about his film Sin Visa) as well as with 2 Arab women photographers whose work is currently exhibited at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford: Rania Matar and Tanya Habjouka.

The show also premiered a new song by Mike Massy titled 'Ya Immi' as well as Mashrou' Leila's new track called '3 Minutes.'  Other featured singers included Oum (Morocco), Macadi Nahhas (Jordan), Haifa Kamal (Jordan), Maya Waked (Lebanon/Canada), +Aziz (Kuwait), Rim Banna (Palestine), Zein Aljundi (Syria) and Aswat: the Bay Area Arabic Music Ensemble.

Listen to the podcast below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology99



Friday, December 6, 2013

12/5 'Arabology' Podcast ft Bassam Kassab, Amr Adly, 2 NEW Songs by Mike Massy

Listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology-s6-episode-9



This episode of 'Arabology' aired on Dec 5, 2013 and featured poignant Arabic music, including two exclusive tracks by Lebanese singer/composer Mike Massy.
Show also features 5-part interview with Lebanese American writer/film producer/human rights activist Bassam Kassab + interview with Amr Adly, Postdoctoral Fellow at CDDRL (Stanford University) who discusses issues related to the political economy of Egypt and Tunisia.




Playlist for Arabology Thurs 5 December 2013  4-6 PM  DJ: Ramzi (Artist/Track/Album/Label)
1.  Khaled/ Laila/ C'est La Vie/Universal Music France
2.  Labess/El Kass Yadour/Identite/Needlepoint Records
3.  Rachid Taha/Wesh (N'amal)/Zoom/Naive
4.  Interview with Bassam Kassab (Lebanese American writer/activist//producer)/Part 1
5.  Fairuz/Addayash Kan Fi Nas/Best of Fairuz/EMI Arabia
7.  Interview with Bassam Kassab (short story excerpts)/Part 2
8.  Marwan Anwer/Ah min al foraq/Marwan Anwar/N/A
9.  Interview with Bassam Kassab (Arabic Poem)/Part 3
10. Mike Massy/Farewell/Unreleased/Mike Massy
11. Interview with Bassam Kassab (Toul Omry Film, Zarco)/Part 4
12. Mike Massy/Yammi/Unreleased Demo (World Premiere)/Mike Massy
13. Interview with Bassam Kassab (Sin Visa, Bi.Das)/ Part 5
14. Mike Massy/Soti Hareb Menni/Ya Zaman/Falak Productions
15. Massar Egbari (Egypt)/Wana Kol Ma2oul/Iqra2al Khabar/Massar Egbari
16. Interview with Amr Adly, Postdoctoral Fellow at CDDRL--Stanford University
17. Ramy Essam Taty Taty Rough Guide Arabic Revolution/World Music Network
18. Fairuz/ 3indi Thiqa Feek/Kifak Inta/Digital Press Hellas

Listen above or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology-s6-episode-9

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