Southwest Asia- Recommended Films

Ranging from documentaries to big-screen blockbusters, check out these cinematic works about Southwest Asia and its people.

These titles have been personally selected from the extensive IU libraries catalog (IUCAT) by the University Library Diversity Fellows.  

(Summaries are provided from the film’s listing in IUCAT)

Beyond Borders: Arab feminists talk about their lives, East and West

                Director: Jennifer Kawaja

                Available at IU Southeast Library

Summary: National liberation movements in the Middle East in the 1950's and 60's held the promise of women's equality, but Arab women still face oppression. They must fight a two-front war against repressive internal restraints and Western interference. This film follows a delegation of Arab women activists (including author Nawal Saadawi) as they tour the United States, to sensitize North Americans to Arab feminism and the effects of American foreign policy. They discuss the deterioration of women's rights in the Middle East, how conservative regimes are allied to a conservative interpretation of Islam, and the Gulf War as a setback for women in the Middle East.

Faces of the Enemy

                Editor: Jeffrey Friedman

                Call number at Indianapolis Ruth Lilly Law Library: BF575.H6 F33 2005

Summary: Looks at the universal concepts of enmity which spark and fuel conflicts around the world. Follows author and commentator Sam Keen in an investigation of the ways in which societies and governments create and use enemy images.

Le Grande Voyage

                Director: Ismael Ferroukhi

                Available at IU Bloomington Herman B Wells Library

Summary: "A few weeks before his college entrance exams, Réda, a young man who lives in the south of France, finds himself obligated to drive his father to Mecca. The wide cultural and generational gap between the two is worsened by their lack of communication. Réda finds it hard to accommodate his father, who demands respect for himself and his pilgrimage. From France, through Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan to Saudi Arabia, the two embark on a road trip that will change their lives"--Container.

Paradise Now

                Director: Hany Abu-Assad

                Call number at IUPUI University Library: PN1997.2 .P363 2006

Summary: The story of what may be the last 48 hours in the lives of two Palestinian men who have been recruited as suicide bombers. When they are intercepted at the Israeli border, a young woman who discovers their plan causes them to reconsider their actions.


                Director: Steven Spielberg

                Available at IU Bloomington Herman B Wells Library

Summary: It's the 1972 Olympics and PLO terrorists have just kidnapped and murdered 11 Israeli athletes. After the tragic incident is over and several of the terrorists have gone free, the Israeli government of Golda Meir recruits Avner to lead a team of undercover agents to hunt down those responsible throughout Europe, and eliminate them one-by-one.

If you have any feedback or suggestions you can reach the Diversity Fellows at their joint email address,

Last updated by on 11/20/2008