The Sheik and I
Caveh Zahedi
Documentary Feature

Thursday Jun 7, 2012
$12 online or at door
VENUE
Greenpoint High School For Engineering and Automotive Technology (Formerly Automotive High School)
(On the lawn of Automotive High School)
On The Lawn
Williamsburg
50 Bedford Ave. at North 13th St., Brooklyn, NY 11222
L to Bedford Ave. or G to Nassau Ave.

SHOW
8:00PMDoors Open
8:30PMLive Music by Shusmo
9:00PMFilm Begins
11:30PM-1:00AMAfter-party: Open Bar at Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave. @ Driggs)
NO REFUNDS. IN THE EVENT OF RAIN, SHOW WILL BE RESCHEDULED. PLEASE VISIT WWW.ROOFTOPFILMS.COM FOR RAIN DETAILS. SEATING IS FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED.

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This Show Presented in Partnership With
AT&T
SXSW Film Festival
New York Magazine
Vulture
Radeberger

The Sheik and I (Caveh Zahedi | USA | 108 min.)

Caveh Zahedi built a reputation as a naughty provocateur with surreal docu-comedies like A Little Stiff and I Am a Sex Addict, but his latest effort rises above self-interest and takes a stab at instigating change. And he might be facing a fatwah for it.

The Sheik and I, a diary film about Zahedi's messy experience working on commission in the United Arab Emirates, certainly contains a mischievous edge. However, Zahedi has also made an alarming testament to the challenges of sincere expression in societies opposed to its function. It's a daring work made with reckless abandon -- in other words, both irresponsible and necessary.

Hired by the Sharjah Art Foundation to create a short film for the UAE emirate's biennial celebration, Zahedi faces a paradoxical task. The genial and apparently open-minded curators of the foundation, avowed fans of his work, task him with creating a film illustrating "art as a subversive act." But they also establish a few puzzling restrictions from the outset, including the ominous edict to avoid mocking the Sheik of Sharjah. Though Zahedi frequently says he doesn't want to put anyone in danger, his resulting project repeatedly does just that by documenting the process behind its creation.

Grabbing his wife, their toddler and a few young assistants, Zahedi eagerly heads off to Sharjah with every intention of pushing any button he can find. The filmmaker conceives of a crass B-movie about the kidnapping of the Sheik and insists the unseen leader play the role himself. That's only one of many requests that cause his poor hosts to stonewall him in apparent fear for their lives. The Sheik & I chronicles Zahedi's inability to make his movie. Whether or not you agree with his tactics, the filmmaker's approach is undeniably funny, provocative and fearless.

- Eric Kohn


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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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