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From the Banned Countries: a film series at The Institute for Advanced Study

The Institute for Advanced Study will be hosting a series of six films as part of  "From the Banned Countries: a film series". The first film, Last Men in Aleppo, will be shown on Wednesday, October 18, starting at 4 PM, in Wolfensohn Hall, Institute for Advanced Study. Post-screening discussion will be led by Professor Kevin Martin, from Indiana University, who is currently a Member in the School of Historical Studies. There is no admission charge and Last Men in Aleppo is part of the PBS POV (Point of View) series of films.

 At the beginning of 2017, one of the first decisions of the newly elected President of the United States was to suspend the entry of citizens from several countries. Executive Order 13769 is commonly known as the "Muslim Ban". In response, the Institute for Advanced Study issued a public statement condemning these discriminatory restrictions as being contrary to our values. Concerned by the fate of the people of the affected nations, the School of Social Science and the School of Historical Studies will curate in 2017-2018 a film series titled "From the Banned Countries" in homage to the creativity and engagement of their cinema.

The first film of the series is Last Men in Aleppo by Syrian writer and director Firas Fayyad, who was arrested by the intelligence services of the Assad regime because of his work on this film. Released in 2017, the film has won praise and prizes, including the Sundance Festival World Documentary Grand Jury Award. It follows the so-called white helmets, Syrian men who at the risk of their lives decided to stay in the besieged and bombed city to rescue people buried under collapsed buildings. - During the 2016 presidential campaign, one of the candidates was asked by a journalist what he would do, if he were elected, about Aleppo: "What is Aleppo?" he responded. Firad Fayyad's documentary will provide an answer. Coincidentally, an extension of the ban to three other countries will go into effect on October 18.

Additional films in this series are scheduled for November 8 and December 13.


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New Jersey State Museum
Kelsey Theatre
Catch A Rising Star