Art, Music & Culture

'When we started shooting, so did they'

When Elia Suleiman brought his film Divine Intervention to Ramallah he found the Israeli soldiers had got there first. The entrance to the cinema had been bombed, the cash till rifled, the Dolby stereo stolen. It was never going to be easy for a Palestinian to film in the West Bank. Elia Suleiman tells The Guardian’s Xan Brooks how he became a hit-and-run director . 

Israeli film board bans "Jenin, Jenin"

“I was searching for the humane side of people’s dreams, people’s hunger and people’s disappointments. I was not looking for numbers, who is right, or why this happened,” Bakri said. “For me, it’s a prayer to stop this hell we are living in.” Joshua Mitnick of the New Jersey Star Ledger reports on a censorship move that calls Israeli democracy into question. 

"Gaza Strip" director to return student Academy Award to protest exclusion of Palestine

James Longley, director of the acclaimed 2001 documentary “Gaza Strip” will return the prestigious Student Academy Award he received from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) unless the Academy explains why it has deemed Palestine ineligible to enter the Oscars competition. Read the story and the full interview with EI

Oscars' double standard turns Palestinian film into refugee

Above: Elia Suleiman in the director’s chair. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences operates a double standard that may have kept Elia Suleiman’s award-winning feature film “Divine Intervention” out of the competition for the Oscars, EI has learned. The film, a dark comedy about a love affair between two people on opposite sides of an Israeli military checkpoint, won a prestigious jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and the European Film Award. EI’s Ali Abunimah and Benjamin Doherty investigate. 

"Jenin Jenin" features at International Documentary Filmfestival

“Jenin Jenin”, a 54-minute documentary made by Palestinian filmmaker/actor Muhammad Bakri, features at the International Documentary Filmfestival (IDFA) in Amsterdam. This film is Bakri’s most cutting statement yet. Bakri says that the film is about “human suffering as such - about a wounded soul, a demolished home, a felled tree, a picked flower, a broken heart.” 

Peace Fire: "An explosive story unfolds"

Peace Fire: Fragments from the Israel-Palestine Story, edited by Ethan Casey and Paul Hilder, joins public figures and analysts with vivid street-level diaries from the people in the conflict - Israeli soldiers, peace activists, settlers, Palestinian gunmen, NGO workers, and refugees. “As the individual narrators offer their accounts, an explosive story unfolds.”