Art, Music & Culture

Palestinian filmmaker denied entry to Israel on "security" grounds

On Wednesday 14 May, British-Palestinian filmmaker Omar Al-Qattan and his two-member crew from Belgium, Olivier Pulinckx and Cosmas Antoniadis, were denied entry into Israel on grounds of “security.” No further explanation was granted. There have been many similar cases of arbitrary action by Israeli police in recent months, and particularly in recent weeks, targeting individuals and organisations working with Palestinian civil society. 

Documentary review: "Jeremy Hardy vs. the Israeli Army"

Although the film Jeremy Hardy vs. the Israeli Army was “on one hand [intended for] a British audience,” as explained by director Leila Sansour, it also aimed to communicate to the rest of the world that Palestine isn’t just a land of “sad faces and dead bodies.” Sansour wanted to show a universal audience “that it’s a hospitable place” like the Palestine that lives in her memory. Maureen Clare Murphy writes about Sansour’s documentary about the ISM

Film review: Rana's Wedding

It is not often that movie audiences, American ones especially, see a female heroine that doesn’t need a man to save her or doesn’t wear stiletto heels and a short skirt while overcoming hurdles. And that’s why I like Rana of Rana’s Wedding so much. Not only was she smart enough to wear sensible shoes and comfortable clothes while running through town searching for her boyfriend, but she solved her problems all on her own. EI writer Maureen Clare Murphy reviews “Rana’s Wedding” at the Chicago Palestine Film Festival. 

Film reviews: Nizar Hassan's "Istiqlal" and "Invasion"

There are a lot of difficult questions that Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians alike must ask themselves in order to better understand this conflict that they are all a party to. Director Nizar Hassan is not afraid to critique attitudes, primarily among Palestinians, that he finds problematic. By using his own quest for answers as an example, he reflects to his audience that they too can get a dialogue rolling. EI contributor Maureen Clare Murphy reviews two films at the Chicago Palestine Film Festival. 

Documenting the Occupation: Director Yahya Barakat discusses working under Israeli military rule

To conceive a film or video and execute it successfully is a challenge for any experienced director. But add a military occupation into the mix — with its checkpoints, invasions, and violence — and the difficulty is increased exponentially. Yahya Barakat, who has seven documentaries under his belt and spoke with The Electronic Intifada during the Chicago Palestine Film Festival, has met the challenge of working under an occupation and and tackles its stories in his work. EI contributer Maureen Clare Murphy reports. 

Review: Diary of a Male Whore

In Tawfiq Abu Wael’s Diary of a Male Whore, the main character, a young man who states, “My physical pleasures make me forget the hunger,” finds that humiliation is the way of life in an occupied land. EI contributer Maureen Clare Murphy reviews the film at the Chicago Palestine Film Festival. 

Review: Lord's Song in a Strange Land

Nicholas Dembowski’s video, Lord’s Song in a Strange Land is a clever montage of found footage from Hollywood movies, cable news networks, European news stations, old Western films and edited it as though to let his viewers channel surf through the American media’s representation of what it considers “the Arab world.” EI contributer Maureen Clare Murphy reviews the film at the Chicago Palestine Film Festival. 

Second Annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival to be held April 17-25

Chicago will host its second annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival from April 17-25 2003. The festival will feature over 30 films including Hany Abu Assad’s Rana’s Wedding: Jerusalem, Another Day, an official selection for the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, Jeremy Hardy vs. the Israeli Army, a film by the London-based Palestinian filmmaker Leila Sansour, and Genet à Shatila from Swiss director Richard Dindo.