...from Hanna Kawas
VANCOUVER — Pacific Cinémathèque presents an evening with thoughtful and incisive Palestinian independent filmmaker Sobhi al-Zobaidi. "The importance of cinema is more than political", says al-Zobaidi. "We [Palestinians] must make film a medium through which we speak to each other and the rest of the world. A medium through which we play out our fantasies, hopes and frustrations — reinventing the worlds that are forbidden to us."
Currently working on his doctorate at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, al-Zobaidi was born in Jerusalem, raised in a Jalazon refugee camp, and educated at Birzeit University in Palestine and New York University in the US. His films address the complex realities of contemporary Palestinian life — the disruptions and humiliations of everyday existence under Israeli occupation, in refugee camps and in the troubled enclaves of the West Bank and Gaza, and the internal fragmentation and division that afflicts Palestinian society.
Al-Zobaidi and his work will be introduced by Jayce Salloum, a Kelowna-born, Vancouver-based media artist of Lebanese descent whose own work, screened at Pacific Cinémathèque on several occasions, often addresses the conflict in the Middle East and its representation in Western media.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
A moving documentary in which Palestinian detainees released after years in Israeli custody discuss the difficulties of adjusting to life outside prison. 56 mins.
My Very Private Map
Palestinians refer to their 1948 expulsion and exodus from the territory of the newly-founded state of Israel as “al-Nakba” – “the Catastrophe.” In this film, made to mark the 50th anniversary of those events, Palestinian subjects express regret at leaving their homeland and also speak of their betrayal by the Arab states and the West. 22 mins.
In this ironic short drama, a Palestinian filmmaker (played by al-Zobaidi himself) is commissioned by American producers to make a film about peace between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, but finds that violent reality keeps intruding. 30 mins.
About the Sea
Palestinian voices lament the sea that is no longer theirs. 9 mins.
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