Steadfast fishermen, teenage smugglers, courageous journalists, intrepid women activists and star-crossed lovers risk their lives in Palestinian films at Ithaca College and Cinemapolis April 1-7

03/31/2013

Contributed by Beth Harris

 On Tuesday, April 2, 7pm, in Park Auditorium, FLEFF and the Palestinian Environmental Film Festival (PEFF) are screening a powerful documentary, THE WAR AROUND US, centered on the only two English-language journalists who were able to report from inside Gaza during Israel’s 2008/9 invasion, which caused about 1400 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths.  Jeff Cohen, the director of the Park Center for Independent media, will lead a Q&A discussion after this harrowing film.

 

 The second annual Palestinian Environmental Film Festival (PEFF) opens Monday, April 1, 7pm, in Textor 103 with two films addressing economic immobility in Gaza, DOORS TO THE SEA and GAZA:TUNNELS TO NOWHERE.  Cornell graduate student Max Ajl will also provide a tribute to Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist with the International Solidarity Movement, who was killed in Gaza on April 15, 2011.  Vittorio’s accompaniment of Gazan fishermen, who risk their lives daily by entering the sea, is documented in Doors to the Sea.

The mixed-media documentary KINGDOM OF WOMEN, directed by Dahna Abourahme, will be shown on Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm in Textor 103.  This film shares to oral histories of Palestinian women in the largest refugee camp in Lebanon. Reviewer Rania Jawad writes, “The use of animation in narrating the women’s stories plays on the dialogue between reality and imagination, not an imagination that is unrealizable but specifically one that has been enacted and can be reconfigured and learned from.”

Two award-winning films will be screened downtown in Cinemapolis April 6-7.  Oscar-nominated FIVE BROKEN CAMERAS will be shown, Saturday, 4pm and Sunday, 7:20pm.  The film, co-sponsored by FLEFF and PEFF, intertwines the autobiographical testimony of Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat with the story of collective nonviolent resistance in his village of Bil’in.  Sponsored by FLEFF, PEFF and Jewish Studies, the feature film Habibi will be shown Sunday 4pm and 9:20pm. Director Susan Youssef explains, HABIBI, a story of forbidden love, is the first fiction feature set in Gaza in over 15 years. The film is a modern re-telling of the legendary tragic romance ‘Majnun Layla’, which was set in seventh century Arabia, when a poet named Qays fell in love with Layla.”

This year PEFF focuses on “(Im)mobility in Palestine,” examining how the continuing military occupations of the West Bank and Gaza are creating unsustainable economic, social and physical environments.   The documentaries explore courageous efforts and innovative strategies to break the siege and protect Palestinian communities.

 For more information and to request accommodations for disabilities, please contact Ava Carmeli, the student director of PEFF, ava.carmeli@gmail.com. 

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