Lara Khaldi und Yazan Khalili: Independent Film in Palestine (2009)

(1) THE DIVER 2004 (2) THE SHOOTER 2008 (3) LIKE TWENTY IMPOSSIBLES 2003 (4) ARAFAT AND I 2007 (5) THE LAST STATION 2007 (6) WE BEGAN BY MEASURING DISTANCE 2009

THE DIVER
Jumana Emil Abboud, Palestine 2004, OV, 4 min

THE DIVER tells the story of a diver whose gender, name, and nationality are ambiguous, and who is on an endless search to find ‘the heart’. The places the diver visits are nameless, referred to only as ‘earth, sea, sky, and snow‘. They are unclaimed territories that the diver passes through on the quest for ‘the heart’. Using the diving suit as the ultimate veil, disguise or defence mechanism, the diver’s world (and identity) is somewhat unknown.

Jumana Emil Abboud was born in Palestine in 1971 and was educated in Canada. Back in Palestine, she graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. She uses drawing, video art, installation and performance. Salient themes animating her practice include memory, loss and resilience.

*THE DIVERis part of the program curated by Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili but not available via arsenal distribution.

THE SHOOTER
Ihab Jadallah, Palestine 2008,
Eng. subtitles, 8 min
The film questions the Palestinian resistance struggle and its decadence, as it reaches a point of actual chaos and an absolute lack of control. Palestine is occupied by the international media and is the stage for sensational news stories; Palestinians have become ‘performers‘ of dramatic international evening newscasts. THE SHOOTER is an attempt to subvert this staged representation by rebelling against the image it is made into – the performer becomes active, diverting from his script, slowly breaking out of character.

Ihab Jadallah, born 1980, grew up in a small viillage near Jerusalem. She lives and works in Palestine.

LIKE TWENTY IMPOSSIBLES
Annemarie Jacir, Palestine 2003,
Eng. subtitles, 17 min
When a Palestinian film crew decides to avoid a closed checkpoint by taking a remote side road, the political landscape unravels: the passengers are separated from each other by the mundane brutality of military occupation. Both a visual poem and a narrative, LIKE TWENTY IMPOSSIBLES wryly explores artistic responsibility and the politics of film making, while documenting the fragmentation of a people.

Annemarie Jacir has been working in independent film since 1994 and has taught courses at Columbia, Bethlehem, and Birzeit University. Having been banned from returning to Palestine, she now lives in Amman, Jordan.

ARAFAT AND I
Mahdi Fliefil, Palestine 2007, OV, 15 min

A comedy about Marwan, a Palestinian in love, and Lisa, the girl he wants to marry. He thinks everything about her is perfect – she was even born on the same day as Chairman Arafat! But how will he make Lisa understand the significance of this coincidence?

Mahdi Fliefil took a BA in film production from the International Film School of Wales. His first short film SHADI IN THE BEAUTIFUL WELL, a story set in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain El-Helweh, South Lebanon won numerous international prizes. His second short, HAMOUDI & EMIL, won the Best Foreign Short Award at the New York International Film Festival. In 2006 Mahdi Fliefil graduated with an MA in screenwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London. At the National Film and Television School in London he wrote, directed and acted in comedies, most notably ARAFAT AND I.

THE LAST STATION
Ghada Terawi,
Palestine 2007, OV, 7 min
The film explores Terawi’s perception of and attitude towards the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the 1982 departure of the PLO, the second diaspora in the Arab countries, and the return to and reunion with Palestine and its symbols. The film is neither biographical nor historical, intertwining the filmmaker’s personal story and view and collective history.

Ghada Terawi was born in Beirut in 1972 to a Palestinian militant couple. She grew up meandering between Beirut, Tunis and Cairo and graduated from the American University in Cairo in 1995 with a BA in international relations. She currently lives in Palestine. In 1998 she started working in the field of documentary film making and produced her first film, STAYING ALIVE, in 2001.

WE BEGAN BY MEASURING DISTANCE
Basma Al-Sharif, GB/Palestine 2009,
Eng. subtitles, 19 min
Long still frames, text, language, and sound are weaved together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements become political ones, drawing an examination of how image and sound communicate history, tragedy, and the complication of Palestinian nationalism. WE BEGAN BY MEASURING DISTANCE explores the ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.

Basma Al-Sharif, born in 1983 Kuwait, US citizen of Palestinian origin. Her work has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally including Manifesta 8 (2010), Toronto International Film Festival (2010), the London Palestine Film Festival, London (2010), the 9th Edition of the Sharjah Biennial (2009) and the Forum Expanded at the Berlinale (2011). She lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.