Palestinian film festival

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Video.pngLondon Palestinian Film Festival

images of occupation and resistance

September 14-16, 2006

Mark your calendars for London's 3rd annual Palestinian Film Festival

WHEN? Thursday, 14 September to Saturday 16 September at 7:00 p.m. each evening
WHERE? The ARTS Project, 203 Dundas St. map


Thursday, September 14

Program starts at 7pm

Bethlehem Bandolero 5 minutes Larissa Sansour

Bethlehem Bandolero is a quirky six-minute short by Palestinian filmmaker Larissa Sansour. In the role of a "Mexican gunslinger" that could be straight out of a Spaghetti Western, Sansour's performance captures the irrationality of Israel's building of a twenty-five foot "security" wall as means of seeking "peace" with Palestinians. Sansour confronts the illogic of the situation with her own demonstration of absurdity in a witty but bizarre journey in her native Palestine where she takes on the wall in a High Noon-like duel, dressed in a pistol-toting getup that includes a large red sombrero and a black and white polka-dot bandana that covers her face.--Excerpted from Review of Bethlehem Bandolero by Maymanah Farhat, Electronic Intifada, May 18, 2006

Children of Ibdaa. 29 minutes, 2002, Documentary, Director: S. Smith Patrick.

Golden Gate Award Winner - Best Documentary Short, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2003 Special Honour - Tehran International Short Film Festival, 2003

This film is about the lives of several adolescents in a Palestinian children’s dance troupe from Dheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank. They use their performance to express the history, struggle, and aspirations of the Palestinian people, specifically the fight to return to their homeland. Through interviews and documentation of the children, the video offers insight into their families’ displacement from their villages in historical Palestine, the physically and emotionally stressful aspects of life in a refugee camp, and the unique experience of participating in the politically motivated dance troupe. The story culminates in a visit by the children for the first time to demolished villages from which their grandparents were expelled in 1948.

Until When, 76 minutes, 2004, Documentary, Director: Dahna Abourahme

Set during the current Intifada, this documentary follows four Palestinian families living in Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem.

Fadi is 13 and cares for his 4 younger brothers. The Hammashes are a close-knit family who pass on the lessons of life with humour and passion. Sana is a single woman who endures long commutes to do community work, and Emad and Hanan are a young couples trying to shield their daughter from the harsh realities of the occupation. They talk about their past and discuss the future with humour, sorrow, frustration and hope.

Friday, September 15

Program starts at 7pm

Peace Activists vs. Israeli Tank, 2005, 5 minutes Director: Larissa Sansour

Filmed during the Israeli occupation of Jenin refugee camp in 2002, this short portrays the courage of young peace activists against an Israeli tank. Features local London activists.

Palestine Trilogy: Remembering Deir Yassin (29 minutes), Even in the Desert (33 minutes), A Hot Sand-Filled Wind (13 minutes) Director: bh Yael

Israeli-born Toronto based artist b.h. Yael revisits her troubled homeland in this series, subtitled Documentations in History, Land and Hope.

The first video, Remembering Deir Yassin, takes a journalistic approach, using maps, text and interviews. In a land where much energy is devoted to remembering past injustices and atrocities, the 1948 massacre by Jewish militia groups at Deir Yassin, a Palestinian village near Jerusalem, is a pivotal one.

In Even In the Desert, interviews with Israeli and international peace activists working with Palestinians offer a note of hope amid the grim vignettes of life under occupation: harassment at checkpoints, homes that have literally been walled in, farmers separated from their fields by the Wall, sheep poisoned b settlers, children who must be escorted to school by peace workers.

A Hot Sand-Filled Wind sets images, to a poem in English, Arabic and Hebrew.

The director, b.h. Yael, will be in attendance for questions and discussion after the films are shown. Yael is an Israeli-born Canadian who is Professor and Chair of Integrated Media at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and a passionate advocate for a just and sustainable peace in Israel/Palestine. Yael offers a unique perspective, challenging the traditional Canadian perception of peace efforts in the Middle East.

Saturday, September 16

Program starts at 7pm

Happy Days (Short, 2006)
Running time: 5 minutes
Director: Larissa Sansour

Another quirky short from Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour.

Private (Feature film, 2004)
Running time: 90 minutes
Director: Saverio Costanzo
Language: English, Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles
Awards: FIPRESCI Jury Award - The International Federation of Film Critics; Golden Leopard Award, Best Director - Locarno Film Festival; Bronze Leopard Award, Best Actor, Mohammed Bakri – Locarno

Inspired by real events, filmmaker Saverio Costanzo’s feature debut is a minimalist psychological drama about a Palestinian family of seven suddenly confronted with a volatile situation in their home that in many ways reflects the larger ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel. Winner of a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival.