(Emile Habibi - I Stayed in Haifa)
Dir: Dalia Karpel
58 min., Video, Color
Produktion: Transfax Film. Kamera: Noam Tyech. Ton: Daniel Shitrit, Shuki Zuta. Schnitt: Anal Lubarsky. Produzenten: Marek Rozenbaum, Dalia Karpel
Uraufführung: 17.2.1997, Internationales Forum des Jungen Films.
Sprache: hebräisch, arabisch.
Weltvertrieb: Transfax Film Produktion, 7 Aharonson Street, 68102 Tel Aviv, Tel.: (97-23) 516 2746. Fax: (97-23) 516 2744.
Mon 17.02. 17:30 Arsenal
Born in Haifa into a Protestant family, Habibi was one of the leaders of the Palestinian communist party that operated underground during the British Mandate occupation of Palestine in the 1940s. In 1947, Habibi and the party's younger generation supported the U.N. Plan for the Division of Israel into two states. The specific conflict surrounding the question as to whether it was possible to divide the land between the Palestinians and the Jews occupied a significant place in Habibi's life and books.
Following the Israeli War of Independence in 1948 and the establishment of the State of Israel, Emile Habibi chose to stay in his homeland which had become a Jewish State, despite the fact that most of his family was scattered into exile. He later became one of the most notable leaders of the Israeli Communist Party and and represented that party in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) for 19 years. Habibi established and edited the newspaper that served as the Arabic mouthpiece for the party, 'Elyitkhad', which also had a significant influence on Palestinian cultural life in Israel.
Throughout his life, Habibi enjoyed the sport of fishing and the sea was a source of power that frequently served as a refuge from the political storms that haunted his life. He struggled with the difficult political question of identity and between loyalty to his Palestinian people and his recognition of the State of Israel's right to exist. His novels deal with this conflict and are an elegy of the fate of the Palestinian people.
The film, which was shot when Habibi was in the advanced stages of pancreatic cancer, pauses at the important points in his life: memories from his youth, difficult events that he experienced in the early years of Israel's existence, regrets and yearnings. Our portrait of Habibi the writer and the public figure are sketched from the angle of a man who is living the final days of his life.
The film is a moving and emotional journey of man and place, identity and homeland.
Dalia Karpel was born in 1950. In 1980, she graduated from the University of Tel Aviv with a degree in Film & Television Studies. Since 1977 she has been working as a journalist and filmmaker for several Israeli newspapers, magazines and TV channels.
1986: The Anonymous Pioneer. 1993: Rafi '93. 1996: How Beautiful the End That Takes Us Back to the Beginning (about the life and work of Emile Habibi); EMILE HABIBI - NISZARTY BE HAIFA.
© 1997 by International Forum of New Cinema. All rights reserved.