The Dupes (Tewfik Saleh, 1972).”

Imagined Criterion Collection Releases


Questions were asked by Alexandra Loges and Soren Marths.

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films present The Dupes.

The Dupes is a starkly beautiful film tracing the destinies of three Palestinian refugees brought together by dispossession, poverty, and dreams of a better future. Set in 1950s Iraq, the three men risk their lives within the sweltering confines of a water truck’s steel tank in hopes of smuggling themselves into nearby Kuwait and finding gainful employment. A masterful adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani’s acclaimed novella Men in the Sun, The Dupes is one of the first films to address the Palestinian predicament. Egyptian filmmaker Tewfik Saleh blends social realism, documentary representation, New Wave-style subjectivity, and road movie allegory into a Pan-Arabist production that casts a critical eye on the Palestinian diaspora and its causes.

Disc Features:

New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

Audio commentary by Arabic film scholar and filmmaker Viola Shafik

Interview of Tewfik Saleh by artist and curator Fareed Armaly

John Berger reads Ghassan Kanafani’s Letters from Gaza for the 2008 inaugural Palestine Festival of Literature

City Cinematheque episode on The Dupes with host and film scholar Jerry Carlson and film programmer and scholar Richard Peña

New English subtitle translation.

A booklet featuring a new essay by Arabic media scholar Nadia Yaqub and Ghassan Kanafani’s original 1963 novella Men in the Sun, reprinted specially for this release.