From 3000 Nights to the latest Suha Arraf film Villa Touma, through to The Curve starring Ashraf Barhom (The Kingdom, Clash of the Titans), the Palestinian Film Festival is back to shine light on Palestinian perspectives from around the world.
The theme of this year’s festival? “Visit Palestine”. Festival Director Naser Shakhtour rightly points out that more Australians have connections with Palestine than is obvious; be those ancestral, spiritual, political, humanitarian or educational.
Here’s a look at the films that will make up the touring festival, that will head to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide from 17th November:
- 3000 Nights (2015), the first feature from documentarian Mai Masri, focuses on the plight of political prisoners in Israel through the story of a Palestinian woman who gives birth whilst in jail.
- The Curve (2015), starring Palestinian actor Ashraf Barhom (The Kingdom, Clash of the Titans) is an absorbing road movie following displaced occupants who bond over experiences of pain and fear.
- The Idol (2015), nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards is the story of Palestine’s first pop celebrity, Mohammed Assaf.
- Villa Touma (2014), from the award-winning screenwriter of The Syrian Bride and Lemon Tree comes the story of Badia, a spirited orphan who turns the lives of her spinster Aunts upside-down.
- Ambulance (2016), is a raw account of the war in Gaza and Mohamed Jabaly, a young man from Gaza City who joins an ambulance crew.
- A Magical Substance Flows Into Me (2015), offers a slice of cinematic realism when Robert Lachmann, a German-Jewish musicologist, produces a radio show in an attempt to showcase diversity.
- Nun Wa Zaytoun (2015), a lyrical road trip through the hills, valleys and villages of Palestine, following Murad, who is determined to bring cinema and life back to marginal communities in the West Bank.
- The Wanted 18 (2014), is a captivating animated documentary that seamlessly combines the comic and tragic absurdities of the Israeli army’s pursuit of 18 cows.
- A Man Returned (2016), is the poignant story of a young Palestinian refugee struggling to make a life for himself in Lebanon’s Ain El-Helweh camp.
- A Sketch of Manners (Alfred Roch’s Last Masquerade) (2012), recounts the 1942 last masquerade in Palestine, a night filled with political complexities and events that would change the future of Palestine forever.
- Ave Maria (2015), nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 88th Academy Awards, reveals an unorthodox plan composed by a silent routine of 5 nuns and a family of religious Israeli settlers.
- Home Movies Gaza (2013), introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a microcosm for the failure of civilisation in an attempt to describe everyday life where people are struggling for the most basic human rights.
- In The Future, They Ate From the Finest Porcelain (2015), a cross between sci-fi, archaeology and politics that explores the role of myth for history, fact and national identity.
- Journey of a Sofa (2014), highlights the hardships of Palestinians displaced in refugee camps in Lebanon with the delivery a new sofa in a convoluted Shatila camp in Beirut.
- No Exit (2014), follows two generations, two wars and two lost souls who meet while waiting in an eerie underground station for a bus that will never arrive.
- Pink Bullet (2014), is Ramallah-based multi-genre filmmaker Ramzi Hazboun’s portrayal of his own city, through both a literal story of misadventure and misfortune.
- The Story of Milk and Honey (2011), is an experimental short including photographs, drawings and text, detailing an un-named individual’s failure to write a love story.
The Palestinian Film Festival will take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth from 17th November through to 4th December of this year. For session details, tickets and more information, head to their official website.