Cinema Palestina 27

Cinema Palestina
Siege - A Writer’s Diary

Liana Badr 
Documentary, 33 mins. 2003


What should a writer do in the midst of a ruthless war when the alphabet dries up, when the writing stops?  
Can a photograph write? 
And can a camera draw but a fraction of what takes place in this game of light and darkness?  
Can it reflect those ardent cries of longing, to be in Jerusalem, where the family is, where the city of birth lies, surmounting barriers, closures and all these walls?

The Silent war: Israel’s blockade of gaza

Kashfi Halford 2010 docu 10 min.

Israel’s blockade of Gaza has been in place for almost three years. This film, commissioned by UKbased charity, Medical Aid for Palestinians, explores the consequences of this crippling siege. Building on existing closures and restrictions, the blockade has meant the delay or denial of a wide range of items (food, industrial, educational, medical) deemed “nonessential” for a population unable to be selfsufficient after decades of dedevelopment and occupation. The blockade prevents access by sea, land and air, effectively sealing off a population of 1.5 million Palestinians from the outside world. This short film examines what the blockade means for the people of Gaza, as they struggle to rebuild their lives over a year after Operation Cast Lead (Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip of Winter 20089).

Since you left

Mohammed Bakri 2005 docu 60 min.

In his autobiographical essay, Palestinian-Israeli actor Bakri returns to the grave of his former mentor, the writer and communist Emile Habibi, and attempts (using archive footage, personal films, and documentary materials) to account for the personal and political transformations that have occurred in Israel/Palestine as well as within his own thinking since the author’s death. This is a powerful work by one of the most prominent Palestinian citizens of Israel, whose turbulent relationship with the state and zionist culture as artist and individual is inescapably linked to his political thinking.

The sister and her brother

Omaima HamouriMichael Krotkiewski 2010 docu 8 min.

Shown at the 2012 London Palestine Film Festival as part of “The Spring of Young Palestinian Women Filmmakers”, a programme guest curated by Shashat, the Palestinian film NGO: The Sister and Her Brother is set in Jerusalem it follows the close knit Hamouri family over a series of intimate family situations in which 22 year old Omayma attempts to engage her brother in conversation on some challenging subjects. Soon, the whole family becomes engaged… The film was produced as part of a Shashat training programme for young women filmmakers from Palestine and Sweden, in cooperation with Sweden’s Dramatiska Institutet.

Six Fingers

by Fadi Idris, docu 20 min. Palestine wschlk 2016. V
The film tells the story of Shirine and Osman who are trying to have healthy children.
Production: Saed Andoni

Six floors to hell

Jonathan Ben Efrat 2008 docu 52 min.

Out of the darkness beneath Tel Aviv, emerge human forms and ghostly voices. At Geha Junction, one of the busiest intersections in the Tel Aviv area, hundreds of Palestinians are living underground. Young and old, they slip into Israel to find work and bring a small wage home to their families under occupation. Their hiding place at night is in the underground car park of an abandoned, unfinished shopping mall, hidden from view despite its central location. They pass most nights of the week here, six floors below the ground. One of the mall’s “residents” is Jalal who puts up with this hell in order to save money for his wedding while Nisrin, his fiancé, waits for him to finish building the roof for their new home in Salem, the West Bank. Under these subterranean and subhuman conditions, the men try to preserve their dignity: “In the dark”, says Jalal, “the only thing left is to think about is love.”

Sixty units of time

officiële titel: 60 units of time

Raad Raad 2008 docu 3 min.

This 60second experimental short speaks to 60 years of Palestinian dispossession through an enigmatic sequence of freeze frames, interrupted actions, and rhythms captured from the refugee camps of Beirut by Raad Raad of the progressive artists’ network Camps Studio (Studio Moukhayyamat). The independent collective is comprised of Palestinian and Lebanese artists working in Lebanon which creates experimental artwork and media across various genres and platforms. From their statement: “we work in collaboration with our peoples who deal with the burdens of imperialism and economic injustice every day. Most of our inspiration and work comes from the Palestinian Refugee Camps.”

A Sketch of Manners
full title: a sketch of manners (Alfred Roch’s last masquerade)

Jumana Manna 2012 | Creative Documentary | 12 min
Alfred Roch, Jaffa’s biggest landowner and member of the Palestinian National League, was a politician with a bohemian panache. In 1942, at the height of WWII, he threw what turned out to be the last masquerade ball in Palestine. Inspired by an archival photograph taken the event, A Sketch of Manners recreates and reimagines an unconventional bon vivant aspect of Palestine’s lost pre-1948 past. A multilayered work that reflects on the history of photography, notions of modernity within the region, and the role of artifice and farce in society.
First Prize, Young Artist of the Year Award 2012, the AM Qattan Foundation, London

Slingshot hip hop

Jackie Salloum 2008 docu 94 min.

2008, DVD, 94 min.Arabic, English & Hebrew. Subtitles available in English, Arabic, French. Official Selection at Sundance, Best Director at Beirut International Film Festival, Audience Award at Films de Femmes Festival, and Awarded at the Festival des Libertes. “Profoundly uplifting… Its a refreshing take on the conflict” – Now Toronto. “The Culture of Hip Hop and Rap is at its most powerful and yet its most tender in Slingshot Hip Hop” – Chuck D, Public Enemy. Slingshot Hip Hop weaves together the stories of young Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank, and inside Israel as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmont divisions imposted by occupation and poverty. Follow DAM – the first ever Palestinian Hip Hop group from their early years to their world wide success. Through DAM we meet Mahmoud Shalabi, an irreverent rapper from Akka, along with R&B singer Abeer and rap duo Arapeyat, rising female artists determinded to express themselves. And trapped within Gaza the rap group PR have begun emulating DAM to protest their own terrible conditions.

Small Hands in Handcuffs
Anrai Carroll 2014 | Documentary | 45 min
In October 2013, 16-year-old Anrai Carroll from Ireland travelled to Palestine with his mother to make a film on child arrests. With two tiny borrowed video cameras, he met and interviewed boys his own age. The film charts not just the physical journey from Ireland to Palestine, but also Carroll’s emotional journey from boy to young man.
Snow tapes

Mich’ael Zupraner 2011 docu 14 min.

Snow Tapes is a documentary short made with the Al Haddad family, who live in the Israeli controlled sector of Hebron, in the West Bank. Using a split screen technique, the film features a communal family viewing of two home movies shot by the Al Haddads. On one channel, the video shows clashes with neighboring settlers taped during a recent snowy weekend. Adjacent, the film’s second channel observes the family as they reflect on the footage itself. Sometimes shocking images of life under attack from settlers, are in this way juxtaposed with the humorous digressions, cinematographic critiques, and overarching warmth of the family’s home life.

Soldier on the roof

Esther Hertog 2012 docu 80 min.

In the West-bank city of Hebron, a major holy place to both Jews and Muslims, some 800 extremist Jewish settlers live in the midst of a Palestinian population of over 120,000. In this tense situation, where the military watches day & night over the Jewish community from city rooftops, all foreign media are mistrusted and access almost impossible. Over a period of three years, Dutch Israeli visual-anthropologist Esther Hertog lived with regularity amongst the settlers, and was slowly allowed to film their lives from within their community.
After winning two separate competitions at IDFA 2012 (Dutch doc & First appearance), the Jury commented: ‘This unique documentary accomplishes a seemingly innocent and lighthearted approach that manages to both relate the daily lives of Jewish settlers, and their belief system, and shed light on the lives of the Palestinians surrounding them. ‘Soldier on the Roof’ has captured unique scenes of the settlers real, sometimes even surreal daily life, by showing the absurdity of choices where logic and reality are overtaken by dogma and entrenched hatred.’


Editor: Danniel Danniel NCE
Creative Producer: Paul King
Producer: Sarphati Media – Harry de Winter, Gijs van de Westelaken en Erica Reijmerink
In co-production with: VPRO television
Distribution: Ruth Diskin films

 IDFA Award for Best First Appearance | 2012
• IDFA Dioraphte Award for Best Dutch Documentary | 2012
 Rai International Ethnographic Film Festival  | Commendation for the RAI Film Prize | 2013
 DocAviv | Special Jury Mention Award for International Film | 2013
For its gentle and extremely thoughtful filmmaking we give the

Soldier / Citizen

Silvina Landsmann 2012 docu 68 min.

Frans gesproken met Engelse ondertiteling. Enkele Israëlische jongemannen krijgen aan het eind van hun legerdienst nog een kans om een diploma te halen. Gedurende drie weken is maatschappelijke vorming de orde van de dag. De studenten discussiëren over discriminatie, mensenrechten, de Joodse staat en het conflict tussen Israël en Palestina, steeds met hun dienstwapen in de buurt. De camera registreert verhitte discussies waar de onbuigbare meningen van de jongemannen in schril contrast staan met die van de progressieve leraar. Het klaslokaal geldt als een microkosmos voor de samenleving, een samenleving waar alle Arabieren worden gezien als terroristen die geen rechten verdienen. Silvina Landsmann werd geboren in Argentinië maar emigreerde naar Israël toen ze elf jaar oud was. Na haar legerdienst studeerde ze film aan de universiteit van Tel Aviv. Ze raakte geïntrigeerd door de paradox van soldaten die leren over mensenrechten en democratie. Silvina Landsmann deed geen research voor het draaien van deze documentaire, ze vroeg simpelweg toestemming om te filmen en die kreeg ze zonder enig probleem. De documentaire leverde haar een eervolle vermelding op tijdens het filmfestival van Berlijn in 2012. Zie voor trailer:


Solitaire King

Bassam Jarbawi (Palestine)
Solitaire King follows ex- prisoner Ziad, post solitary confinement. He drives a cab between check points, increasingly unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. His obsession with a beautiful passenger, Mirvat makes his search for sanity especially difficult. He struggles with her disdain and the increasingly difficult circumstances force him to confront his options in a new light. Bassam Jarbawi received an MFA in screenwriting and directing from Columbia University in New York. His short film Chicken Heads was awarded best film at several international festivals, including the Golden Muhr Award at the Dubai Film Festival.
Producer: Shrihari Sathe.

The sons of Eilaboun

Hisham Zreiq  2007  documentary  25 min.

‘The Sons of Eilaboun’ is a documentary film about the massacre, expulsion, and eventual return of a small Palestinian village in the Galilee. Celebrated Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe introduces the events of al-Nakba (the ‘Catastrophe’ of 1947-49), and the people of Eilaboun tell their own story.

(Directed by Hisham Zreiq – Winner of BADIL’s 2008 al-Awda Awards ‘Best Documentary Film’)

Full story:

Soraida, a Woman of Palestine

Tahani Rached (vrouw.) 2004, 119 min 8 s
captures the reflections, concerns and imagination of a Palestinian woman, her family and her neighborhood, the soul of a nation that is doing its best to survive the war and occupation.
(je kunt de hele film zien:
Adopting the style of her critically acclaimed 1997 documentary, Four Women of Egypt, Rached turns the camera on the personal struggle of Soraida, a Palestinian woman living in Ramallah. Observing and interviewing Soraida as she carries out her daily life, the film is a quiet celebration of one person’s struggle to retain dignity and humanity in the face of repression that threatens her existence and resistance that offers her no comfortable role. Rached invites Soraida to show the audience hitherto unseen spaces of resistance opened up through the defiance and courage necessary in an otherwise routine life.

Soup over Bethlehem (Mloukhieh)

Larissa Sansour 2006 Fiction 10 min.

Larissa Sansour’s video art short depicts an ordinary Palestinian family, the artist’s own, around a dinner table on a rooftop overlooking Bethlehem. What starts as a culinary discussion about the national dish being served (mloukhieh) evolves into a conversation on politics, emphasizing a symbiosis of food and politics Sansour suggests as indicative of the Palestinian experience. But rather than positing a caricatured national type, Soup Over Bethlehem shows national identity stereotypes thoroughly disrupted the Arabic spoken at the table is interrupted by English, while family members hold an international variety of passports, jobs, and degrees. These diasporic traits, present in all Palestinian family histories, lend a globalized quality to life and identity, even under the confines of occupation. Under such conditions, perhaps it is the mloukhieh in the serving bowl that most stably conveys a sense of national heritage a single constant amidst a sea of fluctuation. And so, the meal itself comes to figure as a gastronomic anchoring of a Palestinian identity in eternal flux.

A space exodus

Larissa Sansour 2008 fiction 5 min.

A Space Exodus quirkily sets up an adapted stretch of Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey in a Middle Eastern political context. The recognizable music scores of the 1968 science fiction film are changed to arabesque chords matching the surreal visuals of Sansour’s film. The film follows the director herself onto a phantasmagorical journey through the universe echoing Stanley Kubrick’s thematic concerns for human evolution, progress and technology. However, in her film, Sansour posits the idea of a first Palestinian into space, and, referencing Armstrong’s moon landing, she interprets this theoretical gesture as “a small step for a Palestinian, a giant leap for mankind”. The film offers a naively hopeful and optimistic vision for a Palestinian future contrasting sharply with all the elements that are currently eating away at the very idea of a viable Palestinian state.

Speed Sisters

Amber Fares 2015 Documentary 80 min. Palestine, USA, Canada, Qatar, Denmark, UK. Arabic spoken subtitles in English

The Speed Sisters are an all-female, Palestinian automobile racing team that compete on the West Bank’s professional car racing circuit.


The team was first formed in 2009, with support from the British Consulate in Jerusalem. Because the British Consulate in Jerusalem funded a race car for them, the team decorate the car with both Palestinian and British flags. Karen McLuskie, a British Consulate representative and head of the British effort to sponsor women’s car racing in the Palestinian territories, has said that she believes that 2011 “will be the Speed Sisters’ year. They will show more power and more ladies will join the team,” The women compete in regular races against men, including the Speed Test, an annual race that began in 2005.

Team captain, Suna Aweidah, described the racing team as “a dream come true,” although she acknowledged that her “family was not happy for me to start participating in this kind of sport.” Team member Mona Ennab can boast that she was “the first girl to make the race here in Palestine.” The head of the Palestinian Motorsport Federation, Khaled Khadoura, says that the women are serious competitors, and that he is “very proud to see our young women today taking an interest in race car driving, and training in order to improve themselves.” One member was ranked among the top ten racers on the Palestinian circuit.

The team, which has already broken stereotypes in a male-dominated society, is breaking more by welcoming Sahar Jawabrah, its first member to wear the hijab, or Islamic head scarf. Safety-conscious, she covers the hijab with a helmet when racing. But women who drive race cars are not applauded in all quarters. With auto racing growing in popularity throughout the Muslim world, some Muslim clerics have condemned it for being frivolous and un-Islamic. Others call it haram, or forbidden according to Islamic law. One shopkeeper in Ramallah told a reporter that it is not an appropriate sport for Palestinian society, and that he, “would not allow my wife, my sister or my daughter to race.”

In 2013, Anthony Bourdain took a ride with the Speed Sisters in his series Parts Unknown.

In 2015, a documentary film Speed Sisters was released detailing the exploits of the racing crew


Still life

Diana Allan 2005 Fiction 23 min.

Still Life examines the role that a series of personal photos that survived the 1948 explusions now play in the life of an elderly refugee living in exile. Said Otruk is a Palestinian refugee from Acre who now lives at the centre of the old souk in the Lebanese port town of Sidon. “This is me,” he says, gesturing to a frayed photo pasted on the window of his electrical shop. The small sepia figures in the image are gathered by a dock and the shards of light on the surface of the sea appear illuminated by what, in this dark alley in south Lebanon, seems an almost otherworldly radiance the midday sun over Acre in 1948. Said points to a few words in the top right hand corner: “al ayam thahabiyye”. “These were the golden days,” he reiterates as he turns back to his worktable. “I remember it all as if it were yesterday – I look at this photo and imagine myself there, this is life… The eye sees but the hand does not reach.” Still Life is a video portrait that examines Said’s relation to these photos, not simply as souvenirs or representations, but as imprints of Palestine that for their owner, carry material traces of places and people from the past within them.

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