Cinema Palestina 34

Cinema Palestina (z)

Mohammad Bakri 2009 docu 63 min.

Zahara has all the passion of Mohammad Bakri’s awardwinning 2002 documentary, Jenin Jenin, wed to a lyrical narrative spanning a generation of Palestinian history. Zahara is a Palestinian woman, from the village of alBane in the Galilee. Beginning with her childhood before the 1948 war, Bakri’s compelling new documentary takes us through the country’s turbulent history, as seen through the eponymous heroine’s eyes, and the perspectives of those around her. As Zahara grows, we experience the violent establishment of Israel, subsequent life under martial law (19481966), and the radical transformation of Palestinian society from a majority to a disenfranchised minority in their own homeland.


Liana Badr
Produced in 2000, Zaytounat is Badr’s second attempt at filmmaking, her first being a documentary on the life of the Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan. The film exposes many of the realities of life for Palestinian women of various social classes through their relationship with olives — a relationship that is endangered because of policies of Israeli occupation. Olive trees have traditionally been an important part of Palestinian economic and social life, providing nourishment, wood for fire and oil for soap. Yet thousands of olive trees have been cut down by occupation forces to build settlements on confiscated or occupied lands and freeways (“bypass roads”) linking them to each other, bypassing Palestinian villages.
According to Badr, 18,000 olive trees were uprooted in 1999 alone, while an additional 50,000 have disappeared since the outbreak of the Intifada last year. Olive picking picnics were part of the social and economic life of Palestinians for centuries, a tradition that has become all but extinct in the light of security measures that make it life-threatening.


Serene Husni 2013 | Documentary Short | 21 min
Zinco chronicles the evolution of construction material used in building Palestinian refugee houses in the Talbieh Refugee Camp in Jordan over the past four decades. By retracing the transformations of refugee homes from tents of canvas to buildings of reinforced concrete, the film looks for visible evidence of displacement. ‘Zinco’ is an Arabic slang word for the corrugated tin that still makes up most of the camps rooftops today. The film is an invitation to reflect on the universal need for a home.
Audience Award for Best Documentary, 19th Franco Arab Film Festival, Amman, 2014

The Zoo

Hayden Campbell 2005 docu 43 min.

A truly unique look at life in the West Bank through the eyes of Palestine’s one and only zookeeper/veterinarian/taxidermist, Dr Sami Khader. Just 15 kilometres from the outskirts of Tel Aviv and surrounded by Jewish settlements, Qalqiliya is completely fenced off from the rest of the world by Israel’s Wall. Within this urban canton lies Qalqilya Zoo. Like the town itself, the zoo has been hit hard by Israeli army raids when its zebras succumbed to tear gas after a neighbouring high school was attacked during a demonstration, images of the devastated zoo made international television news. This documentary goes beyond those reports and looks for the real story, accompanying the voluble and entertaining Dr Sami on a torturous mission to rescue two baboons from a rundown facility in Nablus. The degree of bureaucracy and checkpoint subterfuge entailed turns an already bizarrely symbolic task into a flabbergasting exercise in absurdity. The Zoo is hilarious, heartbreaking, and infuriating viewing all at once.

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