October 31, 2014

Palestinian Perspectives 8th edition

28-29-30 November 2014
Cinémathèque québécoise, Salle Claude Jutra
335, boul. de Maisonneuve est, Montréal H2X 1K1 - Métro Berri-UQAM
http://www.cinematheque.qc.ca
10$ (students-seniors 9$)


co-presented by Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinema Politica, Institut français, Consulat de France, CJPP Coalition pour la justice et la paix en Palestine, PAJU Palestiniens et Juifs Unis

introductions and discussions by : Nasrin Himada, Shourideh C. Molavi, Norma Rantisi
translation : Alex Sanchez, M.E. Davis, R. Jean

This film programme includes documentary, fiction and mixed works. A reflexion on the destruction of Gaza by the Israeli army during Operation Cast Lead (repeated last summer under the name of Operation Protective Edge); the compartmentalization of Palestinians in the West Bank and their passage to Israel in spite of walls and controls; the Kafkaesque existence of Palestinians living in Israel; the oppression of fishermen and farmers in Gaza; and lives of those in exile haunted by regret. Different living conditions, but unity in resistance: “We shall not leave - they tell us - and the exiled will return.” These films share a vision, that of living and surviving in the rubble, behind walls, between checkpoints, without ever giving in.
- M.E. Davis, R. Jean

Friday Nov. 28, 8:30pm
PLOMB DURCI (Piombo fuso) - Stefano Savona – Italy 2009 - documentary - 80m – Fr. subt.

Saturday Nov. 29, 8:30pm
(International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People)
INFILTRÉS - Khaled Jarrar - Palestine 2012 - documentary - 70m – Fr. subt.
preceded by
THOUGH I KNOW THE RIVER IS DRY - Omar Robert Hamilton - Palestine 2013 - fiction - 19m – Eng. subt.

Sunday Nov. 30, 7pm
PORT OF MEMORY - Kamal Al Jafari - Palestine 2009 – hybrid documentary - 62m - 35mm Eng. subt.
preceded by
SAYADEEN [Fishermen] - Murat Gokmen - Palestine/UK 2013 - documentary - 13m40  Eng. subt.
DEBRIS - Abdelsalam Shehadeh - Palestine - documentary - 17m – Eng. subt.


PLOMB DURCI (Piombo fuso)
Stefano Savona – Italy 2009 - documentary - 80m – Fr. subt.
http://www.pulsemedia.it/plombdurci/
Friday Nov. 28, 8:30pm

It's January 6, 2009, the eleventh day of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip and the district is barricaded, with no-one able to get in or out. 'Cast Lead is made up of footage shot by Italian film-maker Stefano Savona, who captured these poignant and tragic vignettes of daily life in Gaza, during the last tragic days of operation 'Cast Lead'. With raw honesty and brutal imagery, this is a harrowing document of citizens trying to live their lives under the most terrifying conditions.

INFILTRÉS
Khaled Jarrar - Palestine 2012 - documentary - 70m – Fr. subt.
https://www.facebook.com/infiltrators.pal
Saturday Nov. 29, 8:30pm

The checkpoint is closed. “Detour, detour!” shouts a taxi driver and announces the beginning of the journey. The film unravels adventures of various attempts by individuals and groups during their search for gaps in the Wall in order to permeate and sneak past it. 
A closely guarded seven-metre high concrete barrier separates the West Bank from Israel. Getting to the other side is complicated and permits are scarce so the only way left for Palestinians is to cross the border illegally. There is little hope of success but there is no other option. The tense atmosphere, reminiscent of a game of cat and mouse, is enhanced by handheld camera shots, which follow the attempts to cross the border. For a long time director Khaled Jarrar has also focused on the problematic situation of the Palestinians in his photographic projects and performances.
Lookouts, fear, angst, running, permeation, jumping off, crawling, passing through dark passages, are stages of a complex process of passing through to the "other side" and require a very specific state of mind. Some attempts end in failure, and others in success. Some are caught by the Israeli soldiers and others reach their destination.




THOUGH I KNOW THE RIVER IS DRY
Omar Robert Hamilton - Palestine 2013 - fiction - 19m – Eng. subt.
http://www.riverdryfilm.com/
Saturday Nov. 29, 8:30pm

He has returned to Palestine. Caught between his brother's past and his child's future, one man's choice triggers catastrophe for his family.

Director’s Statement
« Palestine, as a subject, can feel inaccessible and overburdened with history. Too often genuine drama and style is lost in ideology and political correctness.
But film-makers have a responsibility, art has an obligation to tell people's stories, to tell the stories that are being buried. With this short I think we are telling a relevant and resonant story, and telling it in a way that is both challenging and dramatic.
Having worked in Palestine for the last five years, living there for a month or two each year, I have been constantly thinking about how cinema - our most immersive artform - can hope to recreate even a fraction of the Palestinian experience.
It is an experience that is at once deeply complex and remarkably simple. It is both cinematically physical and invisibly psychological. It is living forever in an uncertain present while both the narratives of the past and the possibilities of the future are under attack. It is an experience that needs to be told and retold thousands of different ways - this is just one of them. »



PORT OF MEMORY
Kamal Al Jafari - Palestine 2009 – hybrid documentary - 62m - 35mm Eng. subt.
http://kamalaljafari.com/port-of-memory/
Sunday Nov. 30, 7pm

The history of the town of Jaffa, a thriving port city now part of Tel Aviv, provides the background for Aljafari’s most recent film, centering on his mother’s family at risk of eviction if they can’t find proof that the house they have lived in for decades belongs to them. Their predicament is rendered with Aljafari’s usual subtlety, as well as deadpan humour and dark wit. This skeletal narrative provides the scaffolding for a portrait of life in what was once a bustling neighbourhood that was nearly emptied by fighting during the establishment of the state of Israel, and then suffered decades of official neglect. In the meantime, Jaffa was often used as a location for action adventure movies featuring the likes of Chuck Norris. While these films used the city as a generically exotic location, they have now become, in a neat bit of irony, the source of documentary images of the city as it was.



SAYADEEN [Fishermen]
Murat Gokmen - Palestine/UK 2013 - documentary - 13m40  Eng. subt.
www.muratgokmen.co.uk
Sunday Nov. 30, 7pm

Forced to fish within a three mile sea frontier, Gaza’s fishermen are struggling to survive. Supplies are dwindling and they risk everything to feed their families.  Those who approach the boundary risk arrest, seizure of their boats or earnings and gunfire from patrol ships. Shot over one morning from a boat off the Gazan coast, Sayadeen shows what it is to fish within the strictest naval blockade on the planet.
The documentary was filmed with the help of Raed, a local fisherman. He took the crew out on his speedboat and we talked to anyone we came across. One fisherman makes a direct appeal to the international community. His demand is simple but important: open up the sea.

DEBRIS
Abdelsalam Shehadeh - Palestine - documentary - 17m – Eng. subt.
Sunday Nov. 30, 7pm

DEBRIS is not just the story of a Palestinian man whose farm is bulldozed and his house demolished, it is a story of someone who loves life, his family, his land: a man crying… It is a story of dreams with wings, that flutter far away in order to reach the sky. The story of a generation exposed to humiliation and brutality, that feels impotence, but remains standing.

April 7, 2011

Juliano Mer Khamis 1958-2011

April 5, 2011 - by South/South

A 21 minute documentary about  the work of Juliano Mer Khamis the half-Jewish half-Palestinian director of Jenin's Freedom Theatre who was assassinated a couple of days ago.


photo: Ann Paq / Active Stills

November 3, 2010

September 21, 2010

Palestinian Perspectives 7th edition

Sunday October 3, 2010 (in collaboration with Cinéma du Parc)
7pm - Budrus, by Julia Bacha, 2009, 70 min., English subtitles
9pm - Rachel, by Simone Bitton, 2009, 90 min., French subtitles

October 5 and 6, 2010: Nasri Hajjaj’s documentaries
Tuesday Oct. 5 - 9pm – As the Poet said, 2009, 58 min., French subtitles
Wednesday Oct. 6 – 9pm – The Shadow of Absence, 2007, 84 min., English subtitles

Thursday October 7 – 7pm – Budrus (2nd screening)

At Cinéma du Parc
3575 av. du Parc
514 281-1900
www.cinemaduparc.com
admission 11$ / 8$ youth and elders (Tuesday: admission for all 8$)

Nasri Hajjaj’s documentaries
Nasri Hajjaj was born in Ein El Helwe Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. Following a 20-year career as a freelance journalist, he turned to documentary cinema. «  The Shadow Of Absence » (2007) won a bronze Muhr Award at the 2007 Dubai International Film Festival. « As the Poet said » (2009) has been screened in many film festivals around the world.

AS THE POET SAID (COMME DISAIT LE POÈTE)
Lebanon 2009 – 58 min. –  Original English, French, Arabic, Kurdish, Portuguese, Hebrew version - French subtitles - digibeta
Tuesday October 5 - 9pm 

Written, produced & directed by Nasri Hajjaj - With the support of the Palestinian Ministry of Culture and Friends Of The Welfare Association - Director of Photography Jocelyne Abi Gebrael - Music & vocals improvised by Hiba Al-Kawas - Edited by Marcello D’Aloisio - Sound Editor Rana Eid  

An evocative and lyrical paean to the life and times of internationally acclaimed late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, this thoughtful film sees director Nasri Hajjaj taking us on a journey through Darwish's life. He tours the cities and towns the poet lived in, meeting contemporaries, writers and lovers of his work, and overlaying the mosaic of memories and reflections with readings of Darwish's works. This heartwarming tribute is a fitting epitaph to a man whose words and dreams have inspired a generation. The film is also a journey through Darwish's work, featuring his own poetry readings as well as those of other poets reciting his poetry: Jose Saramago, Wole Soyinka, Dominique de Villepin, Yitzhak Laor, Michael Palmer, Sherko Bekas, Ahmed Dahbour, Jumana Haddad.

Participated in the following festivals:
Internationales Dokumentarfilmfestival München
Dubai International Film Festival
Documentary Film Festival in Tunis « Doc à Tunis 2010 »
Festival international du Cinéma méditerranéen de Tétouan
London Palestine Film Festival, UK
Houston Palestine Film Festival, USA
Projection au théâtre de l'Odéon, à Paris

THE SHADOW OF ABSENCE
Lebanon 2007 – 84 min. – Original Arabic, French, Hebrew, Bulgarian version – English subtitles – digibeta 
Wednesday October 6 – 9pm  

Written and directed by Nasri Hajjaj  - Produced by Familia Productions and Nasri Hajjaj - Directors of Photography Khaled Belkhiria and Ali Bin Abdallah - Edited by Michèle Tyan - Music by Hiba Alkawass, Sami Totah, Henryk Gorecki, Kamilia Jubran

"Born in Palestine. Died in Lebanon." "Born in Palestine. Died in Syria." "Born in Palestine. Died in Jordan." The camera pans across an endless row of white tombstones. The Shadow of Absence takes death as its subject yet in doing so presents a powerful statement about Palestinian life. Weaving elements of his own story of dislocation into the Palestinian collective narrative, filmmaker Nasri Hajjaj reverses the usual focus of the Nakba documentary by exploring the denial of the Palestinian right to death and burial in the homeland. Why can a Jew from any part of the world decree that his body be brought for burial in Israel while a Palestinian living only a few kilometers away, in the West Bank or Lebanon, cannot choose eternal rest in the homeland? The Shadow of Absence is a vivid and painful portrayal of personal and collective dislocation. The poetry, music, images and semi-poetic prose make the documentary a work of art, a song to a distant homeland, mourned in death as well as life.

Participated in the following festivals:
Prix Muhr de bronze : Dubai International Film Festival
Festival international du Cinéma méditerranéen de Tétouan
Euro-Arab Film Festival, Amman, Jordanie
L'Institut de Monde Arabe, Paris
Boston Palestine Film Festival, USA
London Palestine Film Festival, UK

BUDRUS
USA, Israel, Occupied Palestinian territories. 2010. Dir. Julia Bacha. Prod : Julia Bacha, Ronit Avni, Rula Salameh. Digital projection. 119 min.
Original Arabic and Hebrew version with English subtitles
http://www.justvision.org/budrus 
Sunday October 3 - 7pm &  Thursday October 7 – 7pm 

Hailed in the New York Times as "this year's must-see documentary," Budrus follows a Palestinian community organizer who unites all political factions along with Israelis in an unarmed struggle to save his village from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. Victory seems improbable until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women's contingent that moves to the front lines. Together, father and daughter unleash a successful nonviolent movement that is still gaining ground today. Winner of eight major international prizes in 2010 including Audience Awards at the Berlin and San Francisco International Film Festivals, the Special Jury Mention at Tribeca, Jerusalem and Documenta Madrid Film Festivals, the Best of Fest in Nonfiction at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival and the Witness Award at SilverDocs, Budrus is produced by an Israeli, North American, Palestinian and Brazilian team of filmmakers, including the writer/editor of the celebrated film, Control Room, and the directors and producer of Encounter Point (winner of the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal Audience Award for Best Documentary, 2006).

WINNER, PANORAMA AUDIENCE AWARD SECOND PRIZE, BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 2010
WINNER, SPECIAL JURY MENTION, TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL, 2010
WINNER, AUDIENCE AWARD, SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 2010
WINNER, HONORABLE MENTION FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY IN THE SPIRIT OF FREEDOM AWARD, JERUSALEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2010
WINNER, WITNESS AWARD AT SILVERDOCS FILM FESTIVAL, 2010
WINNER, HONORABLE MENTION OF THE JURY, DOCUMENTA MADRID 2010
WINNER, AMNESTY ITALIA AWARD, PESARO FILM FESTIVAL, 2010
WINNER, FOUNDERS PRIZE, BEST OF FEST, NONFICTION, TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL, 2010
CULTURAL BRIDGE GALA, DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 2009
OFFICIAL SELECTION, HOT DOCS FILM FESTIVAL, 2010
OFFICIAL SELECTION, SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL, 2010

RACHEL
France, Belgium. 2009. Dir. : Simone Bitton. Digital projection. 100 min. Original Arab, Hebrew, English with French subtitles
http://www.filmsduparadoxe.com/rachelcat.html 
Sunday October 3, 2010 - 9pm 

23 years old. American. Pacifist. Crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. Why?

RACHEL – A documentary investigation of the death of Rachel Corrie, the American pacifist crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza in 2003.

RACHEL is structured like a police investigation. It presents the testimony of witnesses from all sides : Palestinians, Rachel’s colleagues who witnessed her death, Israeli army officials and spokespersons, tank drivers, Palestinian and Israeli doctors who were involved in the case and Rachel’s parents.

Rachel Corrie was an extraordinary human being and her activism in Gaza was motivated by the injustices endured there by Palestinians. She did not want to hurt the Israeli people, but she could not accept the idea that the Israeli army was bulldozing the homes of ordinary Palestinian families in order to defend Israel’s interests.

The nobility of Rachel’s motives and actions make her death all the more unjust, heartbreaking and intolerable.

French-Israeli filmmaker Simone Bitton now lives in Paris. She has directed more than 15 documentary films. All of them attest to her deep personal and professional commitment to better representing the complex histories and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa.

“An arresting, moving film” - HOWARD ZINN
“Don’t miss it” - JUDY REBICK
“Totally honest” - L’HUMANITÉ
“An indispensable film” - LES INROCKUPTIBLES