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Still buzzing from Beyond Babel

The buzz continues as we look forward to the future growth of our Beyond Babel Multilingual Film Festival, after a successful third run in May 2016 that welcomed a crowd of multilingual film enthusiasts.

Carmen Herrero welcomed our guests and set the informal tone for our afternoon of free public screenings, expressing a personal appreciation for the diversity of tongues spoken on the Manchester bus route, and her love for film that began with Saturdays and Sundays spent at the cinema throughout her childhood.

Sociolinguistics PhD student Hanan Ben Nafa introduced the first screening, Amreeka, an independent film from Palestinian-American director Cherien Dabis that gives a voice to  Palestinians living under the constraints of the occupied West Bank. The film is also a comment on universal themes of parenthood, migration, homeland, identity, coming-of-age, social and cultural integration, with preconceptions subverted through light-hearted humour and authentic storytelling.

Breaking for a quick coffee and multilingual mingle, we regrouped for a second screening of French comedy-drama Samba by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano and introduced by Isabelle Vanderschelden,  French Section Lead at Manchester Met. The film depicts precarious Parisian life as experienced by hardworking ‘sans-papiers’ migrants and those volunteering to sift through the piling paperwork and multiple language barriers in attempt to secure them legal status in France. Tackling serious political and social issues, the film nonetheless is not without laughs along the way, with the endearing relationship between lead role Omar Sy and co-star Tahar Rehim being particularly fun to watch.

Poignant and thought provoking, both films were praised highly by the audience, and combined with the knowledge of our expert speakers, it is no wonder that the post-screening Q&A session led to a lively and stimulating debate.

Thank you to all those who came to enjoy and participate in the multilingual film experience. We look forward to seeing you next time!

Beyond Babel will return to Manchester Met in 2017.

Check out Humanity Hallows article here.

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