DC Cinema Palestine Film Festival, April 3-May 7

The Council for the National Interest Foundation, SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now), ADC DC (Washington DC Area Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee), DAWN (DC Anti-War Network), Palestine Media Watch, MERIP (Middle East Research and Information Project) and Students for Justice in Palestine at George Washington University are pleased to present:

DC Cinema Palestine (DCCP) will present an array of insightful and provocative recent films and documentaries from and about Palestine. The films we have chosen explore the social, political, and personal issues confronting Palestinians. They illustrate what it means to be Palestinian in a world where Israeli occupation presents endless obstacles to the fulfillment of basic human rights. Our hope is that in some small way these films can contribute to a future of justice, peace, and co-existence.

All donations and funds raised through the festival will be sent to the Milk for Preschoolers Program of ANERA, which feeds over 12,000 children in more than 100 preschools in Gaza with milk and biscuits fortified with nutrients and vitamins. ANERA is a leading non-profit humanitarian organization whose projects improve Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Screening location
George Washington University
Marvin Center Amphitheater (3rd Floor)
800 21st Street, NW - Washington, DC

This festival is an all-volunteer effort. All donations and funds raised through the festival will be sent to ANERA’s Milk for Preschoolers Program. Please donate or volunteer to support the festival. See www.cinemapalestine.com/support.shtml for more information.

DC Cinema Palestine is a sponsored project of the Council for the National Interest Foundation with funding provided by the Council for the National Interest Foundation, SUSTAIN, ADC DC, DAWN, Palestine Media Watch, and other generous donors.

Subject to change - Please visit www.cinemapalestine.com for up-to-date information.


6:00 pm Tragedy in the Holy Land: the Second Uprising (Denis Mueler, Documentary, 2002, 71 minutes)
“Tragedy in the Holy Land fills a void in conventional accounts of the Israeli/Palestinian struggle. It gives the viewer access to the voices and background of one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted conflicts of the last century. This provocative documentary addresses the core issues of land and identity. It probes the evolution of the seemingly incurable conflict in Palestine from a historical perspective that is typically unknown to American audiences. Using rarely seen archival footage and interviews with various experts and scholars, Tragedy in the Holy Land offers vital information about the roots of the current conflict and the ongoing struggle for survival and dignity.”

7:30 pm Jenin Jenin (Mohamed Bakri, Palestine, Documentary, 2002, 50 minutes)
“A few days after the Israeli invasion of the Jenin refugee camp, a camera crew shot at the site, documenting testimonies of Jenin residents. The IDF’s operation ended with Jenin flattened and scores of Palestinians dead. Jenin Jenin shows the extent to which the prolonged oppression and terror has affected the state of mind of Palestinians. The sad question forces itself on the spectator: what will become of a country, a people, when its children are confronted with war and violence from a very early age?”
(Best film, Carthage International Film Festival 2002, JCC Tunis, Ismailia Film Festival, Marseille Festival)


7:00 pm A Stone’s Throw Away (Line Halvorsen, Norway, Documentary, 2003, 51 minutes)
“A Stone’s Throw Away follows three boys from Dheisheh refugee camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem. The children are growing up under Israeli occupation. Their friend, who was only 13 years old, has recently been shot to death by Israeli soldiers. In the film the children talk about their feelings of fear, hoplessness, anger and revenge. The film provides an intimate insight into the children’s thoughts and lives, raising questions about how children are influenced by the conditions in which they live.”

8:15 pm Frontiers of Dreams and Fears (Mai Masri, Palestine, Documentary, 2001, 56 minutes)
“Award-winning Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri’s most recent work traces the delicate friendship that evolves between two Palestinian girls: Mona, a resident of the economically marginalized Beirut refugee camp and Manar, an occupant of Bethlehem’s Al-Dheisha camp under Israeli control. The two girls begin and continue their relationship through letters until they are finally given the opportunity to meet at the border during the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon. When the intifada suddenly erupts around them, both girls face heart-breaking changes in their lives. As in Masri’s earlier films, Frontiers of Dreams and Fears focuses on the difficult plight of Palestinian children while exhibiting an optimism that defies their unbearable circumstances.”
(First Prize Documentary, International Festival of films by Women, 2002 - Turin)


6:00 pm Ford Transit (Hani Abu-Assad, Palestine, Documentary, 2002, 80 minutes)
“The documentary is about the people who commute in between Israeli military checkpoints via Ford mini-vans. Filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad interviews Rajai Khatib, the young Ford truck taxi driver, and his customers, showing viewers a variety of Palestinian opinions that don’t often get represented in the international news media, while also illustrating the absurdity of the military checkpoints in the West Bank. Surveying Rajai and his passengers’ opinions of George W. Bush, suicide bombers, and Israelis, the responses Abu-Assad receives are often sad, profound, and witty. Thankfully, Abu-Assad exploits the Palestinians’ famous sense of humor, while at the same time treating serious issues with the attention they deserve.”
(Fipresci Prize 2003, Thessaloniki International Film Festival)

Followed by a discussion lead by Ghaleb Darabya of the Palestinian Mission to the USA


6:00 pm Crossing Kalandia (Sobhi al-Zobaidi, Italy/Palestine, Documentary, 2002, 52 minutes)
“A video journal reflecting the life of a Palestinian family and a Palestinian town during one year of the intifada. Kalandia is the name of a refugee camp between Ramallah and Jerusalem, but more recently it has become the location of one of the most heavily-traveled Israeli checkpoints in the Palestinian territories. The filmmaker’s intention is not to portray Palestinians as victims, but rather to reveal that Palestinians are like any other normal society; they are diverse, complex and very misunderstood. The film focuses on Palestinians’ persistent and resilient efforts to lead normal lives in the midst of much violence and suffering.”

7:15 pm Rana’s Wedding (Hany Abu-Assad, Palestine, Fiction, 2002, 90 minutes)
“Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: She must either choose a husband from a pre-selected list of eligible men, or she must accompany her father abroad. Rana’s Wedding is a romantic drama about a Palestinian girl who wants to get married to the man of her own choice. With only ten hours to find her boyfriend in occupied Jerusalem, Rana sneaks out of her father’s house at daybreak to find her forbidden love, Khalil. Facing barriers and occupation which have become an everyday reality, Rana overcomes her fears and doubts, deciding not to let anyone control her life.”
(Best Actress, Marrakech Film Festival - Marrakech, 2002; Antigone d’Or, Prix de la Critique, Prix des Etudiants, Cinema Mediterraneen - Montpellier, 2002; Grand Prix, Arte Mare Festival - Bastia, 2002; Grand Prix, International Mediterranean Film Festival - Cologne, 2002; Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking, Human Rights Watch Film Festival - New York, 2003; Audience Prize, Otranto Festival - Otranto, 2003)


6:00 pm Until when… (Dahna Abourahme, Palestine/USA, Documentary, 2004, 76 minutes)
“Set during the current Intifada, this documentary follows four Palestinian families living in Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. Fadi is 13 and cares for his 4 younger brothers, the Hammashes are a close-knit family who pass on the lessons of life with humor and passion, Sana is a single woman who endures long commutes to do community work, and Emad and Hanan are a young couple trying to shield their daughter from the harsh realities of the occupation. They talk about their past and discuss the future with humor, sorrow, frustration and hope. Until when… paints an intimate in-depth portrait of Palestinian lives today.”

Followed by a discussion lead by Huwaida Arraf of the International Solidarity Movement


6:00 pm Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land (Bathsheba Ratzkoff & Sut Jhally, USA, Documentary, 2004, 80 minutes)
“This pivotal video exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites—working in combination with Israeli public relations strategies—exercise a powerful influence over news reporting about the Middle East conflict. Combining American and British TV news clips with observations of analysts, journalists, and political activists, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides an historical overview, a striking media comparison, and an examination of factors that have distorted U.S. media coverage and, in turn, American public opinion. Interviewees include Seth Ackerman, Mjr. Stav Adivi, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Hanan Ashrawi, Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Dr. Neve Gordon, Toufic Haddad, Sam Husseini, Hussein Ibish, Robert Jensen, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Karen Pfeifer, Alisa Solomon, and Gila Svirsky.”

Followed by a panel featuring Alison Weir of If Americans Knew and Rima Mutreja of the media task force for the US Campaign to End the Occupation.