“A Candle for the Shahbandar Cafe” at the San Francisco Center for the Book on March 5, 2013

March 5th, 2013 marks the sixth anniversary of the car bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, Iraq. Al-Mutanabbi Street is the cultural heart of Baghdad and the home to writers, poets, artists and musicians. The San Francisco Center for the Book is currently exhibiting “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” an exhibit of arstist books created in response to the bombing. Along with the exhibit, SFCB will host an anniversary reading with writers and poets, and a screening of the film “A Candle for the Shahbandar Cafe

The video clip below is from the film, an award-winning documentary about the famous cafe on Al-Mutanabbi Street that was blown to smithereens on March 5, 2007. It tells the powerful story of a popular and historic cafe situated in Al-Mutanabbi street, in the heart of Baghdad that has traditionally attracted writers, poets, and intellectuals since it first opened its doors in 1917. The history, architecture and customers of Shabandar Cafe are explored against the increasingly violent backdrop of contemporary Iraq, culminating in both a car bomb explosion near the cafe and a near death experience for the film’s director.

Directed by Emad Ali. Independent Film and Television College (Baghdad).

The San Francisco Center for the Book will be showing this documentary in its entirety (this is a small clip from it) at the March 5th Anniversary reading. There will also be a great line up of poets, and the chance to see this amazing exhibit of artist books created in response to the bombing!! We all stand together on al-Mutanabbi Street!! Click here for more info and to RSVP

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The San Francisco Center for the Book sfcb.org

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