In 2003, Stefan Markworth visited Lebanon for the first time, coming by a series of coincidences to stay in the Burj elBarajneh Palestinian refugee camp. The film he made there is a personal account both of his own experience as an Australian traveller coming to terms with the reality of the refugee camp existing beside apparently affluent modern Beirut, and of the remarkable young people he met there. With striking candour and humour, the young men and women of the camp speak of their dreams, their fears and their frustrations as they face a future framed by compounded uncertainties and restrictions. The film is an intimate account of both the filmmaker’s experiences and those of his subjects and friends. www.youtube.com
Nawras Abu Saleh Palestine, 2012, drama, 120 minutes
‘Oversized Coat’ written and directed by Nawras Abu Saleh (Palestine, 2012, drama, 120 minutes) about the Palestinian reality for the period of (1987-2011). “When somebody dreams that he is wearing a coat or a dress which is larger than his original size, the interpretation of the dream would be that he would be likely to bear overburdened responsibilities”. Producer: Mahmoud Horani. Cast: Sami Metwasi, Ashraf Telfah, Akef Najem, Ahmad Al Omari, Khaleel Shehadeh, Abdulkareem Al-Qawasmi, Sana Ayoub, Refat Al-Najjar, Ahmad Almadani. www.youtube.com
Nida Sinnokrot 2006 docu 87 min.
What is left for Palestinian farmers who learn that in 24hrs the Israeli Army will confiscate their lands for the construction of the wall? What do people do when their very survival is threatened by one of the world’s most powerful armies? Palestine Blues tells the story of a village’s confusion, desperation, and resistance, their daily victories and wrenching defeats. Unexpectedly filled with moments of poetry and humour this film’s intimate access, unforgettable characters and story structure blur the line between documentary and narrative. Filmed at times with a hidden camera and at times under extreme duress, PalestinianAmerican filmmaker Nida Sinnokrot gives us a lasting chronicle of a people and their ancient lifegiving orchards, ever threatened by destruction. vimeo.com
Palestine in fragments
Dominique Dubosc 2007 docu 88 min.
Dominique Dubosc’s documentary film is a unique and unforgettable meditation which disrupts any separation between art and documentary filmmaking from the first frame and continues to surprise throughout. Using images (stills, video, landscapes, interviews, architectures) shot between 2001 and 2007, the director assembles a series of chapters which move between impressionistic studies of unusual spaces and structures observed in the occupied Palestinian territories, to informal interviews in which the narratives of Palestinians in the West Bank are presented unadorned. In one chapter, urban and landscape imagery is seen in stark black and white photographs, highlighting destruction and constructed obstruction as indelible markers of the West Bank occupation’s visual language. In another, an unusual game of basketball carries in it both a routinised surrealism and a horrifying truth… Palestine in Fragments promises to intrigue and amuse as without shying away from the often brutral realities it records. www.youtube.com
Palestine in the south
Ana Maria Hurtado 2011 docu 90 min.
Following the fall of Saddam Hussein, thousands of Palestinian refugees living in Iraq were displaced again into a no man’s land on the Syrian border. After years in this new found limbo, some ultimately journeyed with their families to Chile, where they were offered residence. Ana Maria Hurtado’s Palestine in the South follows one such group as they reach Chile and are welcomed to a small town with a Palestinian population descended from migrants arriving a century earlier. For all the hospitality of the town, opportunities are scant and disillusionment sets in amongst some new arrivals. www.youtube.com
Palestine post 9/11
Osama al Zain 2005 docu 53 min.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon, media reports appeared to show a number of Palestinians celebrating on the streets of Jerusalem. Palestine Post 9/11 is an examination of the tragic events of 911 from a Palestinian perspective. Featuring interviews with scholars, experts and journalists in the US and Palestine, Palestine Post 9/11 investigates the complex relationship, or the lack thereof, between the issue of Palestine and the terrorist attacks. The film explores the setback the Palestinian cause has suffered as a result of Al Qaeda’s actions and political rhetoric on one side and the US and Israeli policies on the other. Palestine Post 9/11 reveals how after September 11th, the ZionistChristian Right alliance, very skillfully, immediately moved to capitalize on the tragedy by claiming that: now Americans should understand what Israel had gone through, focusing only on the methods of attack and ignoring the reality of the Israeli occupation. A reality the viewers will soon face following Stanley Cohen, a Jewish lawyer from Manhattan, on his journey to Palestine. Through his eyes, Palestine Post 9/11 examines the daily life under occupation, the IsraeliAmerican strategic alliance, and the Israeli governments’ use of 911 as a justification for their own violations of humanitarian law in Palestine.
Dominique Dubosc 2004 docu 90 min.
In July 2002, French illustrator Daniel Maja is invited to Ramallah and Gaza to develop a project for art schools in Palestine this despite the fact that most West Bank cities are under curfew at the time. Filmmaker Dominique Dubosc decides to accompany him. His film develops as a series of visual and symbolic interactions between their two gazes. In this experimental video essay, Dubosc (Palestine In Fragments) manages to convey both the horrors of the reality perceived, and the complexities and limitations of conveying what is perceived in the visual medium. vimeo.com
Rashid Masharawi 2013 fiction 90 min.
Palestinian director Rashid Mashawari follows his widely acclaimed dark comedy Laila’s Birthday with this compelling and ironic drama about two brothers on the West Bank who, rendered homeless by an Israeli air strike, hustle odd jobs to raise enough money to emigrate to Canada. After their apartment building in the West Bank is destroyed by an Israeli air strike, brothers Samy (Salah Hannoun) and Milad (Mahmoud Abou Jazi) — nicknamed “Stereo” — become homeless, living in a tent set up in a nearby yard. Stereo, a wedding singer who once held promise, lost his wife in the shelling; Samy, an electrician, lost the ability to hear and speak. The two men can no longer endure the hopelessness of their situation, and decide to immigrate to Canada, where they imagine they can pursue their dreams. The application procedure being expensive, they relocate to Ramallah, where their sister lives and where there is the opportunity for them to earn enough money to emigrate. Director Rashid Masharawi’s follow-up to his widely successful Laila’s Birthday faithfully captures the hardships as well as the paradoxes of everyday life in the West Bank. Masharawi adeptly balances both biting realism and a sordid note of absurdity with his sober political critique. (In spite of his hearing loss, Samy is able to hustle jobs as a sound engineer, while he and Stereo rent out sound equipment from a beat-up, second-hand ambulance they cruise around in.) A compelling drama tinged with irony, Palestine Stereo is a searing meditation on the significance of homeland and homemaking. Is home the place where one is born and feels bonds of belonging, or is it where one pursues the opportunity to make a life with dignity? Rashid Masharawi was born in Gaza. He has directed several features including Curfew (93); Haifa (95); Waiting (05) and Laila’s Birthday (08), which both screened at the Festival; and the documentary Live From Palestine (02). His latest feature is Palestine Stereo (13). www.youtube.com
Palestine: a people's record
Kais al Zobaidi 1984 docu 92 min.
Explores Palestine in archive footage dating from 1917 to 1974, bringing together valuable rare footage in an historic account of Palestinian nationhood. The archive material is in itself remarkable and alZobaidi’s knowledgeable editing renders the film an enthralling visual and historical document.
Winner, Jury Prize, Cannes 2002.
Palestine, summer 2006
full title: “palestine, summer 2006: a collection from the palestinian filmmakers’ collective”
div. regisseurs 2006 fiction 90 min.
3 Minute Shorts From The Following Directors: Akram al Ashqar Nahed Awwad Liana Bader Riyad Deis Rowan al Faqih Ahmad Habash Ismael Habbash Annemarie Jacir Enas Muthaffar Razi Najjar May Odeh Amer Shomali Mohanad Yaqubi. Founded in late 2005, the Palestinian Filmmakers’ Collective is an independent collective founded and run by filmmakers. Its goals include working with the Palestinian community to screen films, share technical and artistic skills, help make Palestinian films and information more widely available, create a Palestinian video library and organize activities and projects to promote Palestinian cinema. In mid 2006 the collective invited established and new Palestinian filmmakers to come together in a project that would reflect the “mood” of that summer. Limited to three minutes or less, the filmmakers were also restricted to using only oneshot to tell their stories.
Étienne Beurier – Thomas Ellis – Constantin Simon 2007 docu 93 min.
Directed by three young French filmmakers, Palestines is an intersecting triptych portrait of the daily lives of three Palestinians in the West Bank. Ahmad, born in the Fara’a refugee camp, paints landscapes on walls personally, he’s never seen a boat, but he thinks the kids at the school he’s painting should have the chance to see his rendering of one, if only to dream. Raed is a traffic policeman in the busy centre of Ramallah after accidentally injuring an elderly pedestrian with his hand gestures, he’s developed a safer, more compact series of rapid dancelike movements to control Palestine’s traffic flow. Nidal, a shopkeeper in Hebron, continues to open his shop even though customers are rare, and the settlers in the city harass him daily. Three Palestinians who take their daily jobs into extraordinary places in the face of challenging situations these warm portraits of ordinary Palestinians invite the viewer into the remarkable day to day of Palestine, 2007. www.youtube.com
A Palestinian mural
Norma Shiheiber 2008 docu 5 min.
When students at San Francisco State University attempt to create a campus mural featuring Edward Said and Palestinian culture in the diaspora they ran into stiff opposition. This didn’t stop them. Today the mural is the only one of its kind to be found on university campus in the US. Norma Shiheiber’s short film tells its story.
A Palestinian woman
Andrew Courtney – Emiliy Perry 2006 docu 28 min.
This short documentary, filmed alongside the wall that Israel continues to build in the West Bank, brings the viewer close to the conditions isolating Palestinians within their communities. Terry Bulatta, mother, teacher and community activist, shows the filmmakers how the 27 foot high wall surrounds her neighborhood in East Jerusalem, separating it from the adjacent neighborhood of Abu Dis and severing the human bonds linking these communities. The camera joins her on a half hour drive from one side of the wall to the other a trip that previously took only four minutes. We learn of the terminals and checkpoints through which Palestinians must pass, of the settlements, and of the land confiscations which Terry describes as elements of an apartheid, system which makes settlers “masters of the land”.
Paradise Lost (2003) Mara’ana traces the hidden history of her village, Faradis, investigating issues of national identity and womanhood within traditional Arab village life. www.youtube.com
Hany Abu Assad 2005 fiction 97 min.
Two young Palestinian men Khaled and Said have been friends since childhood. They are both recruited to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The two men are allowed to spend what is presumably their last night alive with their families. However, since absolute secrecy must be maintained and they can tell nobody of their mission theirs can be no proper farewell. The next morning, the men are brought to the border. The bombs have been attached to their bodies in such a way as to make them completely hidden from view. However, the operation does not go according to plan. Separated from each other and left to their own devices, it’s up to them to face their destiny and stand up for their convictions.
Paradise Now is Abu Assad’s (Ford Transit Rana’s Wedding) first major release feature and was nominated for an Oscar in 2006. www.youtube.com
by Darin J. Sallam and Amjad Al Rasheed, 2016, Drama, 18.5 min
A Mizrahi Jewish family from Tunisia tries to settle into their new life in 1948 Haifa. They are haunted by an unwanted house guest, a parrot left behind by the former Palestinian residents of the home the government has given the new immigrants to inhabit.
Partners for Peace
by Ed Kucerak 2013 | Documentary | 101 min
Partners for Peace follows a delegation of 13 American and Canadian women traveling to Israel and Palestine under the leadership of Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams and Mairead Maguire. Their quest is to learn about the decades-long conflict and to reach out in solidarity to women activists striving amidst the turmoil. Confronted by the complex and brutal depth of the conflict, they are inspired by the commitment and sacrifices of the women they meet, and challenged to ask difficult questions of themselves—and of us all.
Narrated by Marisa Tomei
Pasolini Pa* Palestine
Ayreen Anastas 2005 docu 51 min.
For Heidegger, Wiederholung (‘repetition/retrieval’), is one of the terms he uses for the appropriate attitude towards the past. ‘By the Wiederholung of a basic problem we understand the disclosure of its original, so far hidden possibilities.’ In this video, Anastas enters into dialogue with Pasolini’s 1963 footage entitled ‘Seeking Locations in Palestine for ‘The Gospel According to Mathew.” The film adapts his script and map to the contemporary setting in Palestine, seeking to explore contradictions, disrupts and continuities and therein to reveal previously unnoticed possibilities in the original.
Hazem Alagha. Fictie 15 min, 2014 Palestina
Patchwork House follows Janeen, a more than middle-aged Palestinian woman who is forced to make a living by cleaning houses. When she visits the house she has been assigned to she is faced with an ultimatum when she finds that this particular house is harboring a sinister secret.
'Peek a boo
Enas Muthaffar 2012 docudrama 98 min.
Peek a boo is a docudrama depicting an ordinary day in the life of 15 month old Yasmine in Palestine. Hers are regular moments in an otherwise irregular context, here illustrated as the filmmaker follows her on a journey from Ramallah to Jerusalem. vimeo.com