Bilal Qureshi continues to look “elsewhere,” here musing on the contrast in stereotypes and complexities between a marquee movie, Tony Gilroy's Beirut, and an art-house work, Tamer Said's In the Last Days of the City. The overlapping theatrical release of the two films allows Qureshi to juxtapose their very different visions of the Middle East. While Beirut repeats familiar tropes from Hollywood's post-9/11 Arab thrillers, In the Last Days of the City's portrait of pre-revolutionary Cairo presents a welcome alternative to this clichéd gaze, presenting instead a more authentic and genuine representation of Middle Eastern subjectivity.
Elsewhere: A Tale of Two Arabias
Bilal Qureshi is a writer and cultural critic exploring the intersection of international politics, identity and art. From 2008 to 2015, he served as producer and editor for NPR's All Things Considered. He continues to profile award-winning authors, filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians for the network. His personal writing has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Washington Post. He also co-hosts the FQ podcasts for Film Quarterly.
Bilal Qureshi; Elsewhere: A Tale of Two Arabias. Film Quarterly 1 September 2018; 72 (1): 69–72. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2018.72.1.69
Download citation file: