Sunday, September 21, 2014

NYUAD Saadiyat Campus and Hamama screening

One of the first events of the NYUAD public programs season was a screening of the Emirati documentary film Hamama. I rarely pass up opportunities to watch a nice local film, so I signed up. Also, it would be a good opportunity to check out NYUAD's new campus on Saadiyat Island, to which its public events have been moved from various locations around Abu Dhabi city, and which also happens to be more conveniently located for me.

The campus is impressive: large, fitted well, decorated subtly and interesting architecturally, with broad paths, big courtyards, and spacious interiors. There is still some work going on in the area surrounding, but the inside seems about completed.

The film was introduced by a faculty member (top left) and screened (right) in a conference center auditorium, followed by Q&A with director/producer Nujoom al Ghanem and writer/researcher Khalid al Budoor (bottom left). While I think the POV shots detracted from the documentary style followed otherwise in the film (I'm sure blindness could have been conveyed in other ways, or established in a single fade shot), and some of the setups looked a little implausible (shayla on head with bare belly?), the film was overall a pleasant watch, with sharp cinematography, some interesting characters, a bit of humor, and good lighting, transitions and sound.

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