A New Day in Old Sana‘a
By Bader Ben Hirsi, dir.
2005, Yemen, 86’. Arabic with English subtitles. cd Universe, $18.49 (www.cduniverse.com) Arab Film Distribution, $400 institutional use (www.arabfilm.com).
Reviewed on September 1, 2007
Yemen’s first feature film is a light-hearted yet message-laden tale of the struggle between true love and tradition. We get to be insiders in women’s spaces and conversations, filmed among the walled gardens, narrow alleyways and latticed tower homes of the old city. The narrator, an Italian photographer, provides a framework for the tale of a stolen wedding dress, a girl dancing alone at night on a dark street and the bumbling police officers who try to solve the crime.