Jim Quilty

Film festival drops Israel as sponsor to protest attack

The organizers of the 2006 Locarno International Film Festival have dropped the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a festival sponsor because of that country’s unremitting bombardment of civilian targets in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli ministry was listed as a co-sponsor of one of the festival’s programs, called “Leopards of Tomorrow.” News of the sponsorship provoked a letter of protest from several Lebanese and Palestinian filmmakers and festival guests - who threatened to pull out of Locarno, which starts on August 2, if the links were maintained. 

New documentary a family tale older than Israel itself

Nizar Hassan’s latest documentary is a hybrid. Part oral history project, part detective story, Karem Abou Khalil (Abou Khalil Grove) tells one Palestinian family’s history from the Ottoman to the Israeli periods. It’s also an amused study of misplaced premises and faulty representation. It’s not a story of burning tires and bulldozed houses - a la Ijtiah, Hassan’s 2002 documentary on the Jenin invasion. It’s a family tale older than Israel, though its telling is fenced in by the tense courtesy of life under Israeli domination.