Art, Music & Culture

4th annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival 2005, April 15-May 3

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival begins April 15 at the Gene Siskel Film Center and continues from April 29 to May 3 at St. Xavier University in Chicago. The 23 film selections for this year include films from Palestine, Israel, Europe, and North America. This truly reflects the diversity of perspectives of Palestinians in exile and diaspora as well as non-Palestinian filmmakers who have made excellent films about the country and its people. In contrast to previous years, we have an large number of feature/narrative films as well as personal and hard-hitting documentaries and even an animation. 

Chicago Palestine Film Festival 2005: Official Selections

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival is pleased to announce its official selections for its 2005 screenings. This year’s festival will occur from April 15 to May 7 at the Gene Siskel Film Center and St. Xavier Valley Community College. Now in its fourth consecutive year, the Chicago Palestine Film Festival is an independent, not-for-profit, non-sectarian project based in Chicago that exhibits and promotes films by Palestinian directors and films about Palestine. CPFF is dedicated to presenting a film festival that is open, critical, and reflective of the culture, experience and vision of the filmmakers. 

Debut US tour of "Made in Palestine" exhibition

Made In Palestine, makes its first national tour stop in San Francisco, after opening in Houston. This unique exhibit is on view from April 7 through April 21, 2005 at SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street in San Francisco and will include an event series. “This is a momentous occasion because people rarely get to see the rich culture and creativity of the Palestinian people,” says Rayan El Amin of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “This will be a unique opportunity to not only experience art but also to learn about the history and current struggle of the Palestinians.” 

Thoroughly Palestinian Stories: A review of Suad Amiry's hit book "Sharon and my Mother-in-Law"

Though for generations Suad Amiry’s family lived in historical Palestine, her toy Manchester terrier enjoys more political rights than her owner. Granted a coveted Jerusalemite passport by her Israeli veterinarian in a settlement nearby Ramallah, Amiry’s dog Nura is allowed to travel from Ramallah to Jerusalem, though Amiry’s West Bank I.D. forbids her from doing so. But because Amiry is Palestinian, and has lived a significant amount of her life under Israeli occupation and has developed the creativity such an existence demands, Amiry has been able to use this to her advantage. 

Film review: Paradise Now

Hani Abu Assad’s Paradise Now won the AGICOA’s Blue Angel Award for the best European film at the Berlinale last week. The film has been acquired by Warner Independent Pictures in a North American and U.K. rights deal. Paradise Now is the story of two Palestinian childhood friends who have been recruited for a major operation in Tel Aviv. In the tag team of two young Palestinian men, Said and Khaled, director Hani Abu-Assad brings an intensely gripping tale of suicide bombing. 

Palestine Through the Arts: A nation defined by culture not politics

The exporting of Palestinian art is particularly important because while the U.S., which can be considered a third party to the conflict, shares a sense of cultural identity with Israel, it holds very violent perceptions of Palestinians. When Americans see headlines and pictures of suicide bombings, they all too often make no distinction between Palestinians who blow themselves up at bus stops, Iraqi resistance fighters, and Al-Qaeda lunatics who fly planes into skyscrapers. Furthermore, it is only violent pictures that make the news — after all, if it bleeds it leads. 

Looking towards Palestine: Photographic projects in Madrid

“The work included in the photographic exhibit, ‘Looking towards Palestine,’ represented an impressive diversity of styles and subject matter, but the common denominator — appropriately, given the reality on the ground in Palestine — was the rubble. This is not to say that the photographers failed to explore other themes. On the contrary, the show was full of images of funerals, children’s games, Israeli tanks and bulldozers, living rooms, violent confrontations — in short, the stuff of daily life under occupation and in the diaspora. The rubble, however, was never far from view.” John Collins reports from Madrid. 

Film Review: "The Syrian Bride"

Though the film is called The Syrian Bride, the story is about much more than Mona the bride. Played by Clara Khoury (who also starred as a bride in Rana’s Wedding), Mona doesn’t have very many lines in this new Israeli film. Instead, she acts as a gravitational body that the main themes of the film orbit around — her sister Amal’s unhappy marriage, the problems of tribal politics, the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, and on a more abstract level, the broader political conflict in the Middle East. 

One land two systems announces winners architecture competition

On 6th February, 2005, One Land Two Systems is presenting the results of its international architecture competition for an alternative to the Israeli government masterplan devised for the ‘unrecognised’ Palestinian village of Ein Hud in Israel. The story of Ein Hud, south of Haifa, is a typical example of the complex reality of ideological planning in Israel – and how such planning contributes to the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy. The competititon has been a huge success, with over 100 entries arriving from more then 30 countries, each one outlining a sustainable and liveable alternative for the Palestininan village, in contrast to the Israeli government’s unworkable plan.