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
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.
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.

Khaled Jarrar - Palestine 2012 - documentary - 70m – Fr. subt.
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.

Omar Robert Hamilton - Palestine 2013 - fiction - 19m – Eng. subt.
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. »

Kamal Al Jafari - Palestine 2009 – hybrid documentary - 62m - 35mm Eng. subt.
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.
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.

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.