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Palestinian fishermen, smugglers, journalists, filmmakers and women’s oral history featured in Palestinian films at Ithaca College and Cinemapolis April 1-7
Contributed by Beth Harris on 03/28/2013
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 is documented in Doors to the Sea.
The second night of the festival features journalism under siege on Tuesday, April 2 at 7pm, in the Park Auditorium. The screening of the War Around Us is cosponsored by the Park Center for Independent Media and Park School. The documentary follows two Al-Jazeera journalists as they find themselves to be the only two international reporters in Gaza during the 2008 Israeli military offensive. Park Center for Independent Media director Jeff Cohen will lead discussion following the screening.
The mixed-media documentary Kingdom of Women, directed by Dahna Abourahme will be shown on Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm in Textor 103. 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.