Weekly Lectures & Films

The NVIC organises weekly lectures (on Thursday) and films (on Sunday) on a variety of subjects. We are looking forward to welcoming you at the institute!

Films: NVICinema

On Sunday evenings the NVIC is presenting NVICinema. We bring a varied programme of Dutch or Flemish films, Egyptian classics as well as contemporary Egyptian feature films and short films from young talented directors, all with English subtitles.  

Whenever possible we organise lively discussions with the films' directors after the screenings.
All films start at 7.30pm – doors open from 7 pm.

In April and May, the theme of the month will be "Dreams and Fantasy". Be ready to travel on a journey to an imaginary universe.

Keep checking this website and our Facebook page for more information about the programme.    

Le Tout Nouveau Testament (The Brand New Testament)

Sunday 02 April

Jaco van Dormael – Belgium – 2015

God is alive and he lives in an apartment in Brussels with his wife and his 10-year-old daughter Ea. He is a mean bastard who spends most of his time in his pyjamas, tapping out weird rules on his outdated DOS computer to ruin people's life.

God’s 10-year-old daughter Ea wants to change things and – together with her brother ‘JC’ – decides to create a Brand New Testament. Before she can do this, she must free the world from their need for her crazy father. Sneaking into his office, she sends a text message to everyone in the world, detailing precisely how much time they have left until they die… 

‘Le Tout Nouveau Testament’ is the latest feature of Belgian filmmaker Jaco van Dormael, who is known for his ‘Toto Le Héros’ (1991) and ‘Le Huitième Jour’ (The Eighth Day, 1996). With this dark comedy full of imagination he made a hilarious and touching film. ‘Le Tout Nouveau Testament’ premiered at the Cannes Festival and won numerous prices on film festivals worldwide.

With: Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Poelvoorde , Yolande Moreau

Language: French (English subtitles)
Duration: 114 minutes

Ahlam Saghira (Little Dreams)

Sunday 09 April

Khaled El Haggar – Egypt – 1993

'Ahlam Saghira' tells the story of Ghareeb, a 13-year-old Egyptian boy who follows his father's ghost to the front line. The first feature by controversial Egyptian filmmaker Khaled El Haggar, it powerfully conveys a generation's disenchantment with the popular leader of the late 1960s, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Set in Suez, in the period leading up to and during the six-day war against Israel in 1967, the film is filled with captivating, dreamlike sequences that unfurl with vivid splashes of colour. The picture begins by recapping the protagonist’s life - from his parents' wedding, his birth and early childhood to his father's death as a Resistance hero in the 1956 Suez conflict. But soon, our protagonist’s idealism is destroyed by the brutality of conflict, along with his home, town, and dreams for the future. El Haggar’s statement is a gripping, prophetic and human wartime drama.

With: Mervat Amin, Salah El Saadani, Seif Abdel Rahman, Tamer Ashraf  

Duration: 90 minutes
Language: Arabic (English subtitles)  

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet

Sunday 23 April

Roger Allers – Canada/France/Lebanon/Qatar/USA – 2015

In a Mediterranean seaside village, Kamila (Salma Hayek) cleans house for exiled artist and poet Mustafa (Liam Neeson), but the more difficult job is keeping her free-spirited young daughter Almitra out of trouble. The three embark on a journey meant to end with Mustafa's return home – but first they must evade the authorities who fear that the truth in his words will spark rebellion.

The Prophet, by celebrated Lebanese-American author Kahlil Gibran, is among the most popular volumes of poetry ever written, selling over 100 million copies in forty languages since its publication in 1923. Gibran’s timeless verses are brought to life in this film by some of the most acclaimed animators from around the world.

To realize Gibran's ideas in a fresh and visually vibrant manner, producer Salma Hayek and writer-director Roger Allers have chosen eight of the most inspiring poems in the book and asked eight of the most innovative independent animators working today to interpret in the stories in their own distinct styles. This way, each chapter of the film is a new discovery.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was warmly received: "Think of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet as a gift: a work of essential spiritual enlightenment, elegantly interpreted by nine of the world’s leading independent animators. As visually mesmerizing as it is profound!" (Variety)

With: Salma Hayek, Liam Neeson, Quvenzhané Wallis

Language: English (English subtitles)
Duration: 84 minutes

Les Triplettes de Belleville

Sunday 07 May

Sylvain Chomet – France/Belgium/Canada – 2003

Madame Souza and her grandson Champion share their love for cycling. He becomes a professional road racer with Madam Souza as his personal trainer. When Champion joins the ‘Tour de France’ he disappears during a mountain race. He turns out to be kidnapped by the French mafia who take him to the crazy city of Belleville.

Madame Souza goes to rescue, crossing the Atlantic together with Bruno, Champion’s overweight and faithful dog. Lost and without money they arrive in Belleville (an amalgam of New York City, Montreal and Quebec City). When they meet the ‘Triplets of Belleville’, three old ladies who used to be jazz singers in the 1930s, they join forces and try to find Champion back.

‘Les Triplettes de Belleville’ takes you on a crazy ride. With its vibrant soundtrack and a unique style of animation, the film was Oscar-nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. A film not to miss!

Language: French (English subtitles)
Duration: 80 minutes


The NVIC organises weekly Thursday lectures on a variety of subjects. The lectures start at 6 pm sharp. The doors open at 5.30 pm. Please note that seating is limited. The lectures start as scheduled and late admissions are not allowed. After the lecture refreshments will be served in the hall of the Institute. 
In April and May, our film and lecture program revolves around the umbrella topic of 'Dreams, Fantasy, and Dystopia'. More details about the lectures program to be announced soon.

Would you like to present your own academic research at NVIC? We are looking for professionals who would like to give a lecture about their research findings. Please email info@nvic.leidenuniv.nl for more information.

Mohammad Rabie in conversation with Ahmed Nagy - On Dystopia in Arabic Fiction

Thursday 20 April

Mohammad Rabie is a novelist, whose most recent dystopic novel 'عطارد' has been critically acclaimed. His earlier works included the novel 'كوكب عنبر' ('Amber Planet', 2010) and 'عام التنين' ('The Year of The Dragon', 2012).

Ahmed Naji is an Egyptian novelist and journalist. He has authored three books, 'روجرز' ('Rogers', 2007), 'سبع دروس مستقاة من أحمد مكى' ('Seven Lessons Learned from Ahmed Makky', 2009), and 'استخدام الحياة' ('The Use of Life', 2014).


Thursday 4 May

Nael Toukhy, author of critically acclaimed Women of Karantina, will speak about Dystopia

Danilo Marino: "Dreams and Hallucinations in Mamlūk Literature: The Delight of the Souls in Hashish and Wine of Taqī al-Dīn Abū l-Tuqā al-Badrī (d. 894/1489)"

Thursday 4 May

Although cannabis was used for centuries in Medical treatments, it is only from the late 13th century that the first literary texts inspired by this herb began to be recorded in Arabic sources, most likely due to the widespread use of hemp-based products as recreational substances.

The Delight of the Souls in Hashish and Wine (Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī l-ḥašīš wa-l-rāḥ) is, as the title suggests, an anthology of texts dealing with wine and hashish compiled in the second half of the 15th century by Taqī al-Dīn Abū l-Tuqā al-Badrī (847-894/1443-1489). By col...lecting a variety of accounts from historical, medical, botanical, legal and literary sources, al-Badrī's collection is the most comprehensive work dealing with hashish consumption in Pre-modern Arab-Islamic world. However, judging from the number of both poems and narratives gathered in the Rāḥat al-arwāḥ, we can assume that the author's primary intention was a collection of literary texts inspired by hashish.

By using this very original material, in the first part of this lecture Danilo Marino will briefly survey the appearance of the herb as a recreational substance in the Pre-modern Arab society, then he will succinctly present a number of key elements of the legal discussion around the permissibility of hashish consumption in the post-Abbasid period (1250-1517). In the second part, he will focus on some poetic compositions describing the herb and its effects as well as some jocular anecdotes describing dreams and hallucinations - mostly dealing with food and sex - under hashish intoxication.

In addition, he will draw a comparison between some of these Arabic dreams of superabundance of food, delights and edible architectures and the Medieval Western Cockaigne motif that has appeared under different names - Cockaygne, Cocagne, Cuccagna, Luilekkerland, Schlaraffenland - between the 13th and 15th century in several European popular literary traditions.

Danilo Marino received a PhD in Letterature Comparate and Langues, littératures et sociétés du monde from both the Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale" and the Institut National des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO) of Paris with a thesis: "Raconter le haschich dans l’époque mamelouke. Étude et édition critique partielle du Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī l-ḥašīš wa l-rāḥ de Taqī al-Dīn Abū l-Tuqā al-Badrī (847/1443-894/1489)". Based in Cairo but affiliated to INALCO in Paris, he is currently working on the complete edition of al-Badrī's Rāḥat al-arwāḥ. He published in the special issue of Annales Islamologiques 49, 2015 a contribution on "Raconter l’ivresse à l’époque mamelouke. Les mangeurs de haschich comme motif littéraire". His main fields of interest are: Mamlūk literature, jocular Medieval Arabic anecdote literature, literature of intoxication, marginality in Medieval Islam.

Last Modified: 23-04-2017