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Cinematic Works by Michael Roes, part 1

Cinematic Works by Michael Roes


08 Nov. 2012, 6 p.m.
22 Nov. 2012, 6 p.m.
06 Dec. 2012, 6 p.m.

Kunstquartier Bethanien
Mediathek mime centrum berlin
Mariannenplatz 2
10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg


Starting on November 8, the German Centre of the International Theatre Institute hosted a series of film screenings: every other Thursday, a film by Michael Roes was presented at the media library of mime centrum berlin.

Each screening was followed by a discussion with Michael Roes. Moderated by Christel Weiler.

Free admission.



8 November 2012, 6 p.m.
ABDALLAH & ADRIAN. A documentary

Abdallah and Adrian meet on the day Abdallah takes his sick brother to a hospital in Sanaa. His brother has to stay overnight for medical observation.

In the meantime, Abdallah and Adrian start their odyssey in the old town: the narrow lanes, the gloomy bathes, the silent mosques... Their journey is full of adventures, which bring them closer together despite their cultural differences.

Abdallah is a young peasant from a traditional mountain village; Adrian – the son of a German mother and a Yemeni father – lives the privileged life of a single child in the capital.

Adrian invites Abdallah to spend the night at his parents’ house. Here, Abdallah is confronted with a Western way of life he is unfamiliar with. Before he returns to his village with his brother he invites Adrian to visit him in the mountains.

Now it is Adrian, who enters an unknown world without electricity, running water or asphalt streets. He joins Abdallah's daily life in the village: Adrian gets to know the traditional games and dances, and discovers previously ignored parts of his own roots.

The village of Abdallah does no longer exist. In spring 2004 a rock fall destroyed the village and killed more than 400 inhabitants, among them Abdallah, his whole family, and most of the kids, who participated in this film.

Digital video, 73 minutes, colour, 5:4. Yemen 1995/2004.


22 November 2012, 6 p.m.
SOMEONE IS SLEEPING IN MY PAIN. A documentary-style feature film

There are various adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Akira Kurozawa's Throne of Blood (literally Spider Web Castle, 1957), which transposes the plot of the play to feudal Japan, is especially well-known. Someone Is Sleeping in My Pain on the other hand is a documentary-style feature film which takes a very different approach.

It tells the story of an American director who tries to rehearse and perform Macbeth in a tribal community in Yemen. In this process he encounters various cultural barriers. At the same time, however, it becomes clear that Shakespeare does indeed resonate in this altered context. The film thus becomes a fascinating document of the precarious encounter between different cultures.

86 min. Yemen 2000.


6 December 2012, 6 p.m.
CITY OF HAPPINESS. A documentary

Bou Saada, "City of Happiness", is the name of an oasis in the Algerian Sahara. The title of the documentary, however, turns out to be purely ironic when Nadir, the young hero of the film, begins to search for this place of happiness.

City of happiness is a film about the situation of young Algerian men – represented by the English student Nadir, his family, his fellow students and friends – after ten years of terrorism and economic decline in their home country. Nadir begins to introduce his village to us, interviews his friends, his parents, and teachers. After finding no happiness in his hometown, he continues his search, going south, deeper and deeper into the desert. In the end, he does not find happiness, but a deeper insight into himself.On his journey he paints a portrait of young men in various Algerian cultures: we meet Abdul Hafith, a young ballet dancer in the industrial town Batna, Ibrahim, a Mozabite carpenter and theater player in the strong religious oasis Gouerara, and three Tuareg near the desert city of Tamanrasset. Nadir himself is a Kabyle from the coast. Although all of these young men have different cultural and language backgrounds, all of them suffer from patriarchal family structures as well as the political and economic problems in their country. All of them would leave Algeria immediately if they had the freedom to do so.

With Nadir Yousfi, Abdul-Hafid Talib, Ibrahim Rolam, and others. Camera and editing by Michael Roes. Digital Video, 84 minutes. Algeria/Germany 2004/2005.


You can download the program of this first series of cinematic works by Michael Roes here.

The second series will be presented at the beginning of 2013.

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung