Five broken cameras – and each one has a powerful tale to tell. Embedded in the bullet-ridden remains of digital technology is the story of Emad Burnat, a farmer from the Palestinian village of Bil’in, which famously chose nonviolent resistance when the Israeli army encroached upon its land to make room for Jewish colonists. Emad buys his first camera in 2005 to document the birth of his fourth son, Gibreel. Over the course of the film, he becomes the peaceful archivist of an escalating struggle as olive trees are bulldozed, lives are lost, and a wall is built to segregate burgeoning Israeli settlements.
There is a centuries-old seawall in the ancient port of Akka, located on Israel’s northern coast. Today, Akka is a modern city inhabited by Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha’i, but its history goes all the way back to rule of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Young people dare to stand atop the 40′ one-meter thick block structure and risk their fate by jumping into the roiling sea. This perilous tradition has continued for many generations, and has become a rite of passage for the children of Akka. “It’s Better to Jump” is about the ancient walled city of Akka as it undergoes harsh economic pressures and vast social change. The film focuses on the aspirations and concerns of the Palestinian inhabitants who call the Old City home.
Jordan, 1967: displaced to a refugee camp after the occupation of their West Bank village, an eleven-year old boy and his mother enact the emancipating dream that every refugee has imagined countless times, in Annemarie Jacir’s passionate and moving follow-up to her prize-winning debut Salt of This Sea.
Ever since 17-year-old Rachel Levy, an Israeli, was killed four years ago in Jerusalem by a Palestinian suicide bomber, her mother Abigail has found hardly a moment’s peace. Levy’s killer was Ayat al-Akhras, also 17, a schoolgirl from a Palestinian refugee camp several miles away. The two young women looked unbelievably alike. TO DIE IN JERUSALEM unabashedly explores the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the personal loss of two families. The film’s most revealing moment is in an emotionally charged meeting between the mothers of the girls, presenting the most current reflection of the conflict as seen thru their eyes.
Through stop-motion animation, drawings and interviews, directors Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan recreate an astonishing true story from the First Palestinian Intifada: the Israeli army’s pursuit of eighteen cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared “a threat to the national security of the state of Israel.”
The Speed Sisters are the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. They’re bold. They’re fearless. And they’re tearing up tracks all over Palestine.
In 2008 two best friends found themselves trapped in one of the most dangerous places on earth – the only western journalists in the Gaza Strip on what was supposed to be a 24-hour assignment. The War Around Us captures the collision of veteran war correspondent and one of TIME’s most 100 influential people, Ayman Mohyeldin, with rookie reporter Sherine Tadros. As missiles shower the city and unspeakable atrocities emerge, the pair is torn by fierce professional rivalry, private terror and grim humor – with no way out and the whole world watching.
We live at a moment in time when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now more than a century old, continues to be of overwhelming international political and societal importance. From its inception, that conflict has also, of course, had powerful and deeply troubling consequences for Israelis and Palestinians themselves. The story at its most basic level is one that involves two peoples struggling for national recognition and expression in a small but richly significant piece of land. The tragedy of this history, as both the Israeli novelist, Amos Oz, and the Palestinian scholar, Sari Nusseibeh, have each pointed out, stems from a conflict between the rights of two peoples with equal and legitimate aspirations to nationhood and self-expression in a single small territory to which they can both lay claim.
The drama, the story of three childhood friends and a young woman who are torn apart in their fight for freedom, is billed as the first fully-financed film to come out of the Palestinian cinema industry.