Chicago Palestine Film Festival opens 25 April

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival committee is very excited to announce the selections and schedule for our seventh annual film festival. Our 14 selections this year come from Palestinian, American, European and other filmmakers. The festival will take place between 25 April and 8 May at the Siskel Film Center.

Our opening night film is SlingShot Hip Hop, a documentary about Palestinian hip-hop and youth culture. Jackie Reem Salloum spotlights a vibrant hip-hop scene where artists discover the form and employ it to express themselves and their perspectives on occupation, dispossession and poverty. The film follows several different artists, including DAM, a group of Palestinian artists and activists from Israel who have seen commercial success in Europe, PR (Palestinian Rapperz), who have developed their hip-hop art forms in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, and soloist Abeer and the group Arapeyat, who are redefining gender roles and shaking cultural traditions. Filmmaker Jackie Salloum will present her film in person on opening night,25 April at 8:15pm.

On Sunday 4 May, emerging filmmaker Osama Qashoo will present a selection of work, including his latest film Soy Palestino. The film is based on Qashoo’s travels to Cuba, where he found an underclass of people called Palestinos by their more privileged Habanero countrymen. Qashoo’s other films explore Palestinian identity outside the homeland from the perspective of a Palestinian who had never left his country before. Inside Outside and No Choice Basis will also be screened.

On Sunday 4 May, we also have the North American premiere of Ryuichi Hirokawa’s documentary Palestine 1948 NAKBA. Drawn to Israel in 1967 by the Hebrew language and the Kibbutz movement, he began to ask questions about the ruins of a Palestinian village upon which the Kibbutz was built. Hirokawa wanted to discover what happened to the villagers of Daliyat al-Rawha. The film is the culmination of the director’s 40-year career as a photojournalist. There is only one screening for this two hour film, and it really cannot be missed!

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