Skip to Content

Al Atlal (The Ruins)

Directed by Raed Rafei

In a French travel book to the Middle East, a drawing of an ancient bathhouse sparks a visual poem inspired by the Arab poetic tradition of “standing by the ruins.” The ambivalence of the five-hundred-year-old image gestures towards enduring imperial power dynamics. Pleasure and pain, seduction and domination, homoeroticism and violence, archives and ruins, histories of sex and of empire … all commingle in this essay film. (CW: sexual content, nudity)

Artist Bio: Raed Rafei is a Lebanese filmmaker, researcher, and multimedia journalist. For over ten years, he worked as a Middle East reporter for publications like the Daily Star and the Los Angeles Times, and as a researcher, producer, and director for channels like Al-Jazeera, CNN, and ARTE. Since 2011, Rafei has been making independent hybrid films that screened at international film festivals and received several awards. His films include: 74:The Reconstitution of a Struggle (2012), “Here I am … Here you are” (2016), and “Salam” (2017). Rafei is currently based in San Francisco. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Plays in

Contemporary Video Art Exhibition - Presented by 12 Gates Arts and PAAFF

Contemporary Video Art Exhibition

An encore screening of some films featured in 12G & PAAFF’s 4th Annual Contemporary Video Art Exhibition on…