Arts & Artists
Al-Maleh, Nabil

( )

Born in
Damascus, he studied at the Prague Cinema institute. His first feature film was the Leopard, one of the national Syrian General Cinema Organization’s best early films. The film won Jury's Award in the International Youth Cinema Festival of Damascus 1972.

Synopsis: When a peasant’s land is taken from him, he discovers how feudal authority is an extension of the colonial authority. He is imprisoned and beaten by the gendarme. When he escapes to the mountains, he begins his struggle against the gendarme and feudal bands. Though his struggle would benefit the peasants around him, they were not ready for a fight. Eventually his battle opens the way for collective action.

Al-Kompars (The Extras), 1997. Official Selection Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, Best Director Cairo Film Festival, Best Script Award, Valencia Film Festival, Silver Award Rimini Film Festival.

Synopsis: "The Extras is the fourth and finest feature from the inaugurator of Syrian auteur cinema, Nabil Maleh. A multiple festival award winner, The Extras is the engaging story of a poor young couple's courtship. For eight months, Salem, an aspiring actor/gas station attendant has been courting Nada, a young widow - yet they can only see each other in public under the watchful eyes of her overly protective brothers. A number of comic situations arise as Salem convinces a friend to lend his apartment for two hours so he can finally meet Nada in private. However, once alone, the understandably paranoid lovers are awkward and helpless, having so internalized societal scrutiny, their exchange is fraught with anxiety and shame. Initially banned in Syria, The Extras is at once a profound and entertaining film examining how the lack of privacy affects young people." - Cinemateque Ontario.