Palestinian Perspectives: May 2008


    May 15th 2008. Cinéma du Parc, 3575 Avenue du Parc.


An evening of Palestinian films to commemorate 60 years since Al-Nakba – the catastrophe of dispossession brought about by the establishment of the State of Israel – and to celebrate the Palestinian voice.

1947-1948: Zionist forces provoke the exodus of 750,000 refugees, forcibly evicted from their homes and villages. May 15 has been chosen to mark the tragedy.

2008: 5 million Palestinians live scattered throughout the world and demand recognition of their right to return. 4 million Palestinians live under brutal occupation in the West Bank and under a state of permanent siege in Gaza.. And over 1 million live in Israel as second-class citizens.

Palestinian directors living under occupation or in exile shed light on history and reality, through outstanding films, some of them award-winners.

Since 2007, a Montreal collective has focussed on the organization of events dedicated to Palestinian artistic and cultural expression: Palestinian Perspectives. These film and video screenings mark the 60th anniversary of the Nakba (for Palestinians, the catastrophe precipitated by the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948).

Palestinian Perspectives celebrates the persistence and resistance of Palestinian culture through out the world and in the occupied territories, by sharing a selection of outstanding new audio-visual works with a broad Montreal public. These events are also an opportunity to propose concrete actions, notably the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign against Israeli Apartheid, organized in response to an appeal by the Palestinian civil society.

10$ Entrance:
7$ students / senior citizens, 7$ before 6pm, 5$ with cinécarte, 8 films for 40$.

Canadian Premiers:

* 5pm: Beyond Blue and Grey
Canada/États-Unis/Palestine 2008, Jessica Habie, Nirah Shirazipour, 11 min.

Portraits of Palestinian creativity under Occupation.
Reflecting the aesthetics of the Palestinian narrative… past and present.
(Original English and Arabic version with English s.-t.)

* 5pm: Coming Back
Palestine 2003, Ahmad Habash, 6 min.

Some birds migrate but all the birds keep coming back,
seeking the warmth of a homeland.

* 5pm Testimonies from the Nakba Archive
Liban/États-Unis 2008, Diana Allan, Mahmoud Zeidan, 25 min.

Since 2002, the Nakba Archive has recorded over 450 eyewitness testimonies with Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. The collection reconstructs through personal memories life in Palestine prior to 1948, and documents the events that led up to the expulsions. (Original Arabic version with English s.-t.)

* 5pm Pasolini pa* Palestine
Palestine/États-Unis 2006, Ayreen Anastas, 51 min.

1964: Searching for location sites for the shooting of his film “The Gospel according to St. Matthew”, Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini explores the Holy Land and describes its beauty and contradictions, through a dialogue with a priest, Don Andrea Carraro. The footage shot will become “Seeking locations in Palestine”. Twenty-five years later, a filmmaker of Palestinian origin follows his steps and mirrors his scene selection. It’s the same film, and yet another. (Original Arabic version with English s.-t.)

* 7pm Deir Yassin Remembered
Canada 2006, b. h. Yael, 28 min., in English

This is the 3rd episode of Yael’s Palestine Trilogy, that uses a variety of approaches to focus on activist initiatives: this one considers the pivotal repercussions of the massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948, resulting in widespread Palestinian dispossession, and calls for the need to remember. (Original English and Arabic version with English s.-t.)

* 7pm Leila Khaled
Suède 2007, Lina Makboul, 62 min.

Leila Khaled was the first woman to hijack a flight in 1969 and became famous worldwide, and a hero for many Palestinians. Thirty-five years later, a young Palestinian-Swedish woman visits her and films her at home in Amman. The result is a multi-dimensional film about the complexities of liberation movements.
(Original Swedish and Arabic version with English s.-t.)

* 9pm Sons of Eilaboun
Germany-Palestine 2008, Hisham Zreiq, 23 min.

On October 30, 1948, the Israeli Army marches into the northern Galilee village of Eilaboun. The people, who have taken refuge in two churches, are marched to the Lebanese border, except 19 men who are executed. The village is then looted and ransacked. This story was repeated hundreds of times across the land that today is called Israel. The survivors remember. (Original Arabic version with English s.-t.)

* 9pm Reste tranquille
Palestine-France 2006, Sameh Zoabi, 18 min

A young boy and his father are on their way home to the city of Nazareth. What should be a simple car trip is beset by politically charged tension and a militarized reality, each of which serves as a foil to represent the struggle of a complacent father raising a strong willed son. (Original Arabic version with French s.-t.)

* 9pm: A Palestinian Journey
Romania/Palestine 2006, Osama Qashoo, 54 min.

A three-part documentary recording the filmmaker’s journey from Palestine into exile in London. The first part examines the people’s struggle to defend the olive trees against Israeli attempts to destroy them. Next, a family of emigres explain the sickness of exile to the filmmaker. Finally, the filmmaker himself is caught in the same trap, and questions whether life must be lived on a “no choice basis.”
(Original Arabic version with English s.-t.)


A project of: Tadamon Montreal! / Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine

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