Palestinian cinema and media discussed at Muqabalat

Israelis invited to discover Palestinian cinema and media in Tel Aviv

Events and Festivals, Palestine

Palestinian cinema and media discussed at Muqabalat

Palestinian, Israeli and international cinema and media professionals gathered at the second Palestinian Film and Media Conference or Muqabalat (in Arabic, "Meetings") on June 23 as part of the Tel Aviv University's Student Film Festival.

Invited guests notably included Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi, who co-directed Palestinian director Emad Burnat's Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras (2011), and Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch, who spoke of his documentary My Land (2010) in which he meets Palestinian refugees in camps in the region then travels to their homes in present day Israel.

At the event, participants were invited to discuss the main changes in Palestinian cinema and media over the past decade, Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in the new Palestinian film and media industries, as well as the water issue.

Muqabalat included a screening of an Israeli-Palestinian short documentary titled Kareem's Pool. Directed by Ahmad Barghouti, it was made as part of an Israeli-Palestinian cinematic project supported by the Tel Aviv University called Water, that brings together nine stories by Palestinian and Israeli filmmakers around the theme of water. The ensemble work premiered at the Venice International Film Festival last year, and is sold internationally by the Paris-based Wide Management.

Silvia Boarini describes the film in the Palestinian Monitor: "The film follows Kareem, an elderly Palestinian who returned from the US to his village of Aboud, where he built a pool on the site of his family's spring. Kareem's day starts as he opens the pool and we hear the stories of local families, groups of friends and visitors who have come to enjoy a quiet swim. Time idles by, meat is grilled, children scream in the water, and Kareem lies down for a nap under the shadow of a friendly tree... At that point, as if in a nightmare, we cut to footage shot by hidden cameras. A group of about fifty young illegal settlers, some of them armed, enter the pool. They display aggressive behaviour, refuse to pay entry, and proceed to ask Kareem whether he is a donkey. Conniving Israeli soldiers watch over the scene, weapons at hand, completely unaware not just of international law but also of common decency. The raw quality and 'out of control' composition of this section aptly conveys a feeling of helplessness, fear and confusion. The film ends on a dark shot of the empty pool by night and leaves the audience wondering how long it will take before the state of Israel manages to take over Kareem's spring."


Sources: MuqabalatPalestine Monitor


Kareem's Pool - extract:


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