Palestinian Film Days

A cinematic journey of resistance against Israeli occupation

Palestinian Film Days
(Photo: AI-Generated)
The Palestinian Film Days, a collaborative effort between the Royal Film Commission (RFC) and Taj Cinemas, stands as a powerful platform showcasing cinematic narratives that shed light on the struggles and resilience of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. These meticulously curated screenings not only entertain but also serve as a form of resistance, amplifying the untold stories and cultural heritage of the community striving for justice and freedom.اضافة اعلان

This event underscores the significance of collaborative storytelling in advocating for social change and justice. The screenings, offered for free, provide a conduit for the Palestinian experience, reflecting life under occupation and celebrating the unwavering spirit of the community.

Cinema has historically played a vital role in documenting the Palestinian experience, challenging the Israeli occupation, and promoting Palestinian culture and identity. This cinematic movement has recently witnessed a resurgence, with a new generation of filmmakers producing innovative and award-winning films, showcased at major festivals worldwide.

These films offer a unique opportunity for audiences to experience the richness and diversity of Palestinian cinema, amplifying the Palestinian voice and shedding light on their struggle for liberation. Cinema continues to humanize the Palestinian narrative, offering a glimpse into their daily reality, aspirations, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Wanted 18Monday 7 PM
The documentary film Wanted 18 (2014) by Amer Shomali, tells the story of a Palestinian village's attempt to establish a dairy farm during the First Intifada. Through the eyes of the film's animated cow protagonists, the film explores the challenges and triumphs of Palestinian popular resistance against the Israeli occupation.

The film begins with the villagers of Beit Sahour deciding to buy eighteen cows in order to produce their own milk and boycott Israeli goods. The cows are quickly declared a threat to Israeli national security and the villagers are forced to go underground, hiding the cows in a series of secret locations.

Despite the risks, the villagers are determined to keep their dairy farm running. They see it as a symbol of their economic independence and their resilience in the face of oppression. The film follows the villagers as they smuggle milk out of the village and distribute it to the local community.

The film's use of animation and black humor is particularly effective in highlighting these issues. The cows are portrayed as intelligent and resourceful creatures, while the Israeli soldiers are often depicted as comical buffoons. This contrast helps to humanize the Palestinians and to expose the hypocrisy of the Israeli occupation.

The documentary "Wanted 18" stands as a profound testament to the First Palestinian Intifada (1987-1991), exploring a less-explored facet of the period—the popular resistance and civil disobedience against the Israeli occupation. This exceptional film endeavors to artfully convey the Palestinian narrative of that tumultuous era in a unique manner: through the seemingly neutral perspective of cows.

The narrative revolves around the extraordinary tale of eighteen cows that became a symbol of resistance in Beit Sahour during the First Intifada. Amidst the turmoil, the residents of Beit Sahour established a clandestine farm, seeking economic autonomy and advocating for the boycott of Israeli goods. This initiative was one of several measures embraced as part of civil disobedience strategies during that time.

The film masterfully portrays the cow-centric farm as a microcosm of Palestinian defiance against the Israeli occupation, emphasizing the resourcefulness and resilience of the community.

It sheds light on the tangible but fleeting victories achieved by Palestinians through their collective resistance.

Highlighting the Israeli occupation's consistent efforts to quell any form of opposition, the film employs animation and black humor to compellingly underscore these pressing issues. The innovative approach captivates audiences, effectively shedding light on the struggles faced by Palestinians in their resistance against an overwhelming occupation force.

"Wanted 18" serves not just as a historical documentation but also as a poignant testament to the unyielding spirit of the Palestinian people. The film resonates with the audience, weaving a narrative that illuminates the complexities of the First Intifada, demonstrating the ingenious ways in which a community stood up against oppression.

Moreover, the documentary serves as a profound reminder that even unconventional forms of resistance, such as the story of the cows, can become powerful symbols in the struggle for freedom and self-determination.

Through its engaging storytelling and innovative approach, "Wanted 18" adds a compelling chapter to the ongoing discourse on Palestinian resistance and the multifaceted nature of their struggle against occupation. This thought-provoking film continues to offer a unique and thought-provoking perspective on history while honoring the resilience and ingenuity of those who dared to resist.

3000 NightsTuesday 7 pm
"3000 Nights," a powerful film directed by Mai Masri, skillfully delves into the complex and sensitive subject of the Israeli occupation in Palestine.

The narrative of the film revolves around the story of Layal, a young Palestinian schoolteacher who finds herself imprisoned in an Israeli jail, accused of a crime she did not commit. Set against the backdrop of the late 1980s, a period marked by intense Palestinian uprisings, the film meticulously portrays the everyday struggles and challenges faced by Layal during her imprisonment.

The film tactfully tackles the overarching theme of the Israeli occupation through Layal's personal journey. It doesn’t directly confront the political dynamics but instead uses Layal's experience to provide a humanizing lens into the broader context of the Palestinian resistance and the impact of the occupation on the lives of individuals.

The director, Mai Masri, employs a deeply humanistic approach to depict Layal's life in prison, highlighting the resilience, hope, and solidarity found among the women inmates. By focusing on Layal's emotional and psychological journey, the film effectively sheds light on the harsh realities faced by Palestinians living under occupation.

Through Layal's perspective, "3000 Nights" poignantly showcases the endurance and courage of the Palestinian people, echoing the larger struggle for justice and freedom. It does so by emphasizing the ways in which resilience and resistance can manifest even in the most challenging circumstances, and how personal strength can endure in the face of adversity.

The film brilliantly uses Layal's character and her interactions with fellow inmates to humanize the Palestinian narrative, avoiding direct political discourse while subtly painting a vivid picture of the daily injustices and struggles experienced by those living under occupation.

"3000 Nights" offers a unique portrayal of the Israeli occupation in Palestine through the lens of a woman's resilience and courage in the face of adversity, shedding light on the unwavering spirit of the Palestinian people despite the challenging circumstances they endure. The film poignantly captures the strength and determination of individuals in the larger context of a community striving for freedom and justice in the midst of an oppressive occupation.

Gaza Mon Amour
Tuesday 9:00 PM
"Gaza Mon Amour," directed by the Palestinian sibling duo Tarzan and Arab Nasser, provides a unique and lighthearted take on life in Gaza, deftly weaving a love story amidst the backdrop of the Israeli occupation.

Unlike many films that confront the occupation directly, "Gaza Mon Amour" takes a subtler and allegorical approach, using humor and romantic elements to explore the realities of life under occupation.

Set in Gaza, the film unfolds the story of Issa, a 60-year-old fisherman who discovers an ancient statue of Apollo while casting his nets. This discovery, a relic of Gaza's ancient past, sets off a chain of events that intertwines romance and the challenges faced by ordinary Gazans amidst the struggles of living in an occupied territory.

While the Israeli occupation isn't the central focus of the film, it permeates the narrative through the constraints it imposes on daily life in Gaza. The restrictions, blockade, and limited opportunities are portrayed indirectly, through the characters' aspirations and interactions. The film adeptly uses humor and charm to highlight the resilience and desires of individuals living in challenging circumstances.

"Gaza Mon Amour" subtly hints at the struggles of maintaining normalcy and pursuing personal desires in an environment overshadowed by the political situation. The film's approach humanizes the people of Gaza, showing their dreams, aspirations, and even love stories while living in a conflict zone.

By depicting the characters' day-to-day lives and aspirations, the film indirectly comments on the impact of the Israeli occupation on the collective dreams and aspirations of the people of Gaza. It offers a nuanced perspective, showing the resilience and tenacity of the individuals, even in the face of adversity and limited resources.

"Gaza Mon Amour" provides a different lens to examine the Israeli occupation in Palestine by infusing the storyline with humor, love, and the ordinary pursuits of life, subtly shedding light on the challenges and dreams of the people in Gaza amidst the political turmoil. The film's unique approach offers a glimpse into the lives of the individuals affected by the occupation, humanizing their stories and desires in the face of adversity.

Wednesday 7pm
"Curfew," a compelling film directed by Rashid Masharawi, released in 1993, offers a poignant portrayal of life under the Israeli occupation in Palestine. Set in Gaza, the film skillfully captures the everyday struggles, resilience, and human spirit of the Palestinian people amidst the challenging circumstances imposed by the occupation.

The narrative of "Curfew" centers around a father, Abu Laila, who finds himself facing the arduous task of ensuring his family's safety during a curfew while dealing with the broader impacts of the Israeli occupation. Throughout the film, the audience is immersed in the confined and tense atmosphere experienced by Abu Laila and his family, emphasizing the disruptions and challenges brought on by the occupation.

Masharawi's film, through its poignant storytelling, sheds light on the psychological toll and emotional strains placed on families living under curfew and occupation. It masterfully captures the sense of entrapment, isolation, and uncertainty faced by the characters, encapsulating the broader sentiment experienced by many Palestinians living in occupied territories.

The film doesn't solely focus on political discourse but instead portrays the human cost of the occupation, revealing the emotional turmoil and the ways in which daily life is deeply impacted by the restrictions imposed by the occupying forces.

By highlighting the psychological toll and the challenges faced by the characters under curfew, "Curfew" effectively reflects the broader Palestinian experience under occupation. It offers a humanizing portrayal of individuals navigating their lives amidst the political turmoil, emphasizing the resilience and determination to maintain a sense of normalcy despite the harsh realities imposed by the occupation.

Rashid Masharawi's "Curfew" provides a deeply humanistic perspective on the Israeli occupation in Palestine, demonstrating the intimate struggles, fears, and emotional burdens faced by families under curfew.

Thursday 7pm
"Degrade," a thought-provoking film directed by Arab and Tarzan Nasser, offers a unique and multidimensional portrayal of life in Gaza under the Israeli occupation. The movie takes place in a hair salon, where a diverse group of women find themselves stuck due to a riot unfolding outside. The salon serves as a microcosm of Gaza's society, depicting the myriad struggles and experiences faced by individuals living under the shadow of occupation.

The film is a powerful social commentary on the multifaceted impacts of the occupation on the lives of Gazans. Through the conversations and interactions of the women trapped in the salon, "Degrade" addresses various issues that Gaza residents endure daily – from limited freedoms and economic hardships to gender roles and societal norms, all exacerbated by the oppressive conditions imposed by the occupation.

The diverse cast of characters represents a cross-section of Gaza's society, each expressing different opinions and viewpoints, creating a rich tapestry of the complex realities faced by Palestinians. The movie utilizes the salon setting as a stage for discussions and debates on societal norms, aspirations, and the challenges faced by the people, allowing the audience to witness the diverse perspectives within Gaza.

The film cleverly explores the psychological and emotional toll of living under occupation. It subtly portrays the sense of entrapment, frustration, and powerlessness experienced by the characters, highlighting the suffocating atmosphere that the occupation imposes on their lives.

"Degrade" skillfully navigates the socio-political landscape of Gaza without directly addressing political issues, focusing instead on the human experience. The film effectively humanizes the people behind the headlines, portraying their aspirations, frustrations, and resilience in the face of adversity.

In essence, "Degrade" is a compelling exploration of life under occupation in Gaza. Through its nuanced portrayal of everyday life and the rich diversity of perspectives, the film shines a light on the social and psychological impact of the occupation, offering a multifaceted view of the challenges faced by the people of Gaza, while subtly addressing the broader issues through the lens of individual experiences.

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