TCAFF: Eyes of a Thief


The Main 3 Sat, Nov 7, 2015 7:00 PM
Film Info
Premiere Status:Minnesota Premiere
English Title:TCAFF: Eyes of a Thief
Program:Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
Hosted Events
Release Year:2014
Runtime:98 min
Type:Feature Narrative
Festivals & Awards:Best Director, Kolkota International Film Festival, 2014
Best Actor (Khaled Abol Naga), Cairo Film Festival, 2014
Director:Najwa Najjar
Producer:Hani E. Kort
Cinematographer:Tobias Datum
Editor:Eyas Salman
Patricia Rommel
Xavier Box
Panos Voutsaras
Principal Cast:Khaled Abol Naga
Souad Massi
Maisa Abd Elhadi
Nisreen Faour
Malak Ermili
Screenwriter:Najwa Najjar


Screening with short film Condom Lead.

Everyone has secrets, but some are more dangerous than others. Eyes of a Thief begins at the height of the second Palestinian Uprising in 2002, with Tareq (Naga) bearing gunshot wounds. Tended to by local nuns and a priest who help him escape, he’s soon arrested by Israeli soldiers. Released from prison ten years laterm Tareq returns to his hometown to find for his daughter Nur. Along the way he meets Malak (Ermili), an angry girl on the verge of violence; a woman, Lila (Massi), who tries to ensure Tareq stays away from the girl she raised; and Adel (Suheil Haddad), the town’s assumed leader, whose draconian laws keep the townsfolk silent and afraid. Egyptian superstar, Khaled Abol Naga and Algerian Singer Souad Massi come together in Najjar’s engaging story about corruption, family, and resistance.

“Political film making at its most tellingly personal and accessible... Thief is a fine film which, like Najwa Najjar's first feature Pomegranates and Myrrh, wraps the personal and the political into a seamless whole.” - The Hollywood Reporter


Najwa Najjar is a Palestinian-Jordanian filmmaker, writer, and director. Her debut feature film Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009) screened at over 80 festivals (including Mizna’s 2010 Twin Cities Arab Film Festival), won international awards, was sold worldwide and released theatrically. A speaker on numerous panels on cinema and a Jury member of several International Film Festivals, Najjar has reviewed books and published articles on Palestinian cinema. She has also been a reader for the Rawi Sundance Lab for Arab scriptwriters and more recently a Creative Advisor for the Sundance Labs (2013 and 2014).

Condom Lead
Director: Arab and Tarzan Nasser
2013 | Palestine | 17 min | Minnesota Premiere
“Cast Lead” is the name of the 2009 offensive against the Gaza Strip; it was a seige that lasted for 22 continuous days. Terror and despair seized the population, and, unable to move, people were plunged into an unbearable oppression. Caught in the net of such brutality, banal instincts are thrown into harsh relief, and the search for physical and psychological safety and equilibrium become a necessity. The filmmakers ask: in the heart of war, do we make love? Aircraft, missiles, tanks – their deafening noise, their ground-shaking explosions – will in the end colonize both body and soul. War machines will triumph over human will and when we need the healing power of intimacy the most, love and desire become balloons just waiting to be burst. What condom can protect against this?


Tarzan and Arab Nasser are budding filmmakers and identical twin brothers from Gaza. They were born in 1988, one year after the last cinemas in Gaza were closed. The brothers developed their passion for filmmaking with the help of Gazan filmmaker Khalil Al Mozayen, working together for four years in Gaza’s fledgling avant-garde film industry. In 2010, Tarzan and Arab received the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s prestigious Young Artist of the Year Award for their conceptual artwork “Gazawood,” a series of mock-Hollywood posters for imaginary feature films named after real Israeli military offensives on Gaza, and their short film “Colorful Journey.” The posters and film were featured in a number of exhibits abroad, including at London’s Mosaic Room in 2011. Named two of the “50 People Shaping the Culture of the Middle East” by Al-Monitor in 2012, in October of the same year Tarzan and Arab were invited to Jordan to take part in “THIS IS also GAZA: A Celebration of Contemporary Visual Arts from the Gaza Strip,” where they met the exhibition’s curator, the Palestinian architect and designer Rashid Abdelhamid.