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2004 Portland Palestinian Film Festival, Art Under Occupation

The 2004 Portland Palestinian Film Festival, will be presented Wednesday, March 24, through Sunday, March 28 at Reed College. Highlights of the festival will include several award-winning feature films, including Divine Intervention, Rana's Wedding, and Tale of the Three Jewels--all films are free.
Portlanders will have the rare opportunity to view feature films, shorts, and documentaries from and about Palestine, as Art Under Occupation: the 2004 Portland Palestinian Film Festival, will be presented Wednesday, March 24, through Sunday, March 28 at Reed College. Highlights of the festival will include several award-winning feature films, including Divine Intervention, Rana's Wedding, and Tale of the Three Jewels.

All films, which will be screened in Reed's Vollum lecture hall, are free and open to the public. For more information, the public is asked to call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755 or visit www.auphr.org/film.

The festival's purpose is to encourage careful contemplation and thoughtful action on issues in the Middle East, particularly in Israel and Palestine. Media images of the conflict often obscure the humanity of the Palestinians, a people who, despite and throughout the occupation, go on with life - art, love, ties of friendship and family, sadness, and death.

The Reed College chapter of Amnesty International sponsors Art Under Occupation, and is co-sponsored by the Reed Student Peace Action Network, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights (AUPHR) Jews for Global Justice, Palestine Arab American Association, PSU Progressive Student Union, and Friends of Sabeel - North America

homepage: homepage: http://www.auphr.org/film

Wednesday Films: 22.Mar.2004 10:34

Admission is Free

Wednesday 3/24 (7 pm)
Reed College (SE Woodstock btwn 26th & 33rd)
Vollum Lecture Hall

Al Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 Al Nakba tackles the tragic events surrounding the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem and examines how and why 750,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees by the end of the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Arab and Israeli eyewitnesses, together with Professor Benny Morris of Ben-Gurion University, describe what happened rather than what successive generations of Israeli and Arab propagandists have said happened. Filmmakers Benny Brunner and Alexandra Jansse interviewed Palestinians and Israelis from various backgrounds including Azmi Bishara, an Arab-Israeli philosopher and member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), Shaban Muhmoud, a Palestinian refugee, and Itzhak Pundak, a retired Israeli colonel and diplomat.


Palestine is Still the Issue In 1977, the award-winning journalist and film-maker, John Pilger, made a documentary called Palestine Is Still The Issue (1977). He told how almost a million Palestinians had been forced off their land in 1948, and again in 1967. In this in-depth documentary, he has returned to the West Bank of the Jordan and Gaza, and to Israel, to ask why the Palestinians, whose right of return was affirmed by the United Nations more than half a century ago, are still caught in a terrible limbo -- refugees in their own land, controlled by Israel in the longest military occupation in modern times.

In a series of extraordinary interviews with both Palestinians and Israelis, John Pilger weaves together the issue of Palestine. He speaks to the families of suicide bombers and their victims; he sees the humiliation of Palestinians imposed on them at myriad checkpoints and with a permit system not dissimilar to apartheid South Africa's infamous pass laws. He goes into the refugee camps and meets children who, he says, "no longer dream like other children, or if they do, it is about death."

Continually asking for the solution, John Pilger says it is time to bring justice, as well as peace, to Palestine.


On the Ground: Witness, Resist, Rebuild On the Ground: Witness, Resist, Rebuild, filmed in August 2003, follows Israeli activist Jeff Halper to Jerusalem house demolitions, culminating in his arrest for civil disobedience in a multinational effort to save the Jabari family's home. That same week, volunteers helped the Shawamreh family build the Beit Arabiya Peace Center on their land, where their home was demolished four times before.


Thursday's Film 22.Mar.2004 10:37

Admission is Free

Reed College Vollum Lecture Hall
Portland, Oregon

Thursday 3/25 (7 pm):

Rana's Wedding

Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: She must either choose a husband from a pre-selected list of eligible men, or she must accompany her father abroad. Rana's Wedding is a romantic drama about a Palestinian girl who wants to get married to the man of her own choice. With only ten hours to find her boyfriend in occupied Jerusalem, Rana sneaks out of her father's house at daybreak to find her forbidden love, Khalil. Facing barriers and occupation which have become an everyday reality, Rana overcomes her fears and doubts, deciding not to let anyone control her life.

Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Duration: 120 minutes


Fridays 5 & 7 pm Films 22.Mar.2004 10:40

Admission is Free

Reed College Vollum Lecture Hall Portland, Oregon Friday 3/26: Matinee (5 PM) -

Frontiers of Dreams and Fears Award-winning Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri's most recent work traces the delicate friendship that evolves between two Palestinian girls: Mona, a resident of the economically marginalized Beirut refugee camp and Manar, an occupant of Bethlehem's Al-Dheisha camp under Israeli control. The two girls begin and continue their relationship through letters until they are finally given the opportunity to meet at the border during the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon. When the intifada suddenly erupts around them, both girls face heart-breaking changes in their lives. Winner: First Prize Documentary, International Festival of films by Women, 2002 - Turin

Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Duration: 120 minutes


Friday, March 26th Vollum Hall, Reed College
Evening (7 pm) -

Gaza Strip American documentary filmmaker James Longley traveled to the Gaza Strip in January of 2001, planning to stay for two weeks and collect preliminary material for a film about the Palestinian intifada. He threw away his return ticket and stayed for another 3 months, shooting over 75 hours of material throughout the Gaza Strip. Gaza Strip follows a range of people and events following the election of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, including the first major armed incursion into "Area A" by IDF forces during this intifada. The film is filmed almost entirely in a verite style, presented without narration and with little explanation, focusing on ordinary Palestinians rather than politicians and pundits. More observation than political argument, Gaza Strip offers a rare look inside the stark realities of Palestinian life and death under Israeli military occupation.

On the Ground: Witness, Resist, Rebuild On the Ground: Witness, Resist, Rebuild, filmed in August 2003, follows Israeli activist Jeff Halper to Jerusalem house demolitions, culminating in his arrest for civil disobedience in a multinational effort to save the Jabari family's home. That same week, volunteers helped the Shawamreh family build the Beit Arabiya Peace Center on their land, where their home was demolished four times before.

Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Duration: 120 minutes


Saturday's Films 4 & 7 pm 22.Mar.2004 10:50

repost

Saturday 3/27:
Matinee (4 PM) -

Mahmoud Darwish: As the Land is the Language
When Mahmoud Darwish recites his poems in Cairo, Beirut, Algiers, Paris or London, packed crowds come to mouth the verses with him; at times his voice is relayed by loudspeakers to the throng of admirers in the neighboring streets. The film sets out to understand this popular fervor and to share the emotion distilled by Darwish's words and inimitable rhythm, while allowing the viewer to appreciate his work in its totality and its historical and cultural contexts.

Measures of Distance
In this resonant work, Palestinian-born video and performance artist Mona Hatoum explores the renewal of friendship between mother and daughter during a brief family reunion in war-torn Lebanon in 1981. Through letters read in voice-over and Arabic script overlaying the images, the viewer experiences the silence and isolation imposed by war. The politics of the family and the exile of the Palestinian people are inseparable in this forceful, moving video. [introductory lecture: Professor Gerri Ondrizeg]

Time: 4:00pm-6:00pm
Duration: 120 minutes

Saturday 3/27:
Evening (7 pm) -


Divine Intervention
Palestinian director and performer Elia Suleiman delivers a darkly comic masterpiece. Suleiman utilizes irreverence, wit, mysticism and insight to craft an intense, hallucinogenic and extremely adept exploration of the dreams and nightmares of Palestinians and Israelis living in uncertain times. Subtitled, "A Chronicle of Love and Pain," Divine Intervention follows ES, is a character played by and clearly based upon the filmmaker himself. ES is burdened with a sick father, a stalled screenplay and an unrequited love affair with a beautiful Palestinian woman (Manal Khader) living in Ramallah. An Israeli checkpoint on the Nazareth-Ramallah road forces the couple to rendezvous in an adjacent parking lot. Their relationship and the absurd situations around them serve as metaphors for the lunacy of larger cultural problems, and the result is palpable, bottled personal and political rage. Suleiman's wry chronicle sketches his hometown of Nazareth as a place consumed by ferocious absurdity, where residents harbor feuds, dump garbage into neighbors' yards, and surreptitiously block access roads. Characters transgress rules with abandon - stealing forbidden cigarette breaks in a hospital corridor, for example. Yet the film's acerbic, absurdist sense of humor (earning comparisons to Jacques Tati and Nanni Moretti), in a situation where death seems to lurk at every corner, and Suleiman's own eye-popping directorial interventions, are what earned him the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes.

Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Duration: 120 minutes


Sunday's Matinee 22.Mar.2004 10:52

repost

Reed College Vollum Lecture Hall Portland, Oregon Sunday 3/28:
Matinee Only (5 PM) -

Tale of the Three Jewels:
Tale of the Three Jewels is a moving parable and the first feature film ever to be filmed in the Gaza Strip. Made in the days following the Hebron Massacre-and before the arrival of the Palestinian Authority-it tells the story of Yussef, a twelve-year-old boy who lives in an imaginary world of his own and often escapes from the surrounding violence to the beautiful Gaza countryside. One day he meets Aida, a ravishing gypsy girl with whom he falls in love. When Yussef declares his intention of marrying her when they grow up, she tells him that he must first find three jewels missing from her grandmother's necklace, which was brought from South America by her grandfather. This sets him off on an amazing adventure. "Michel Khleifi's film is a glimmering parable about the meaning of life, about beauty and freedom and about the 'three borders' that govern our destiny: time, space and flesh... a jewel." - The Independent on Sunday

Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Duration: 120 minutes