Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

October 10 - October 15

Palestine Documentary Today

In conjunction with the second edition of the Boston Palestine Film Festival, taking place October 4 – 12, the Harvard Film Archive is pleased to co-present this program of documentaries and short films.

The cinema holds powerful potential for Palestinians as a means to witness their situation and present it to the world. The short film The Shooter reveals how accustomed the world has become to images of violence from the region. Much of the work in this program seeks a way out of this impasse through a critique of existing conventions and a search for new kinds of expression, from the avant-garde recycling of found footage (Jerusalem, the Adulterous Wife) to the clever use of pop editing and visual strategies seen mostly on television (Around). If The Roof is located at the intersection of non-fiction cinema and the art film, 33 Days and To See If I’m Smiling expertly revisit documentary conventions—direct cinema and the first-person interview, respectively—with powerful results. The program includes the familiar name of Mai Masri, whose films have shown at the HFA in the past, as well as two emerging young Palestinian filmmakers: Kamal Aljafari and Mohanad Yaqubi.

Full festival listings are available at www.bostonpalestinefilmfest.org


Friday Ocober 10 at 7pm

two men in silhouetteThe Roof (Al-sateh)

Directed by Kamal Aljafari.
Palestine/Germany 2006, video, color, 60 min. Arabic with English subtitles

Palestinian director Kamal Aljafari’s poetic and political film records his journey back to his family and homeland and explores his firm conviction that “home” can be a feeling as well as an actual place. Aljafari’s voyage is less a definite search for memories than an attempt to view the present as a living past. As his camera pans slowly around the rooms of homes inhabited, damaged and ruined, past and present collide. The use of stillness and off-screen space creates a sense of suspension, of time spent waiting, of aftermath, of lives lived elsewhere. Aljafari has won praise for “raising anecdote to the level of allegory, enabling the film to trace meditative paths and rhythms.”

3 men in a carAround

Directed by Mohanad Yaqubi.
Palestine 2007, video, color, 3 min. Arabic with English subtitles

A car trip with four young filmmakers on their way from Jenin to Ramallah for their favorite pizza is considerably lengthened and complicated by a labyrinth of Israeli checkpoints.

Rico in the Night

Directed by Mohanad Yaqubi.
Palestine/Belgium 2007, video, color, 8 min.

This collaboration between French choreographer Jean Gaudin and Palestinian filmmaker Mohanad Yaqubi presents a nighttime tour of Ramallah, animated by Gaudin’s eccentric but gentle propulsive movements.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Friday October 10 at 9pm

boy looking out window33 Days (33 Yaoum)

Directed by Mai Masri.
Lebanon 2007, video, color, 70 min. Arabic with English subtitles

Famed documentary filmmaker Mai Masri, a Palestinian living in Lebanon, shows us life on the ground during the 2006 Israeli invasion. Beirut is turned upside down in a torrent of Israeli shells and bombs as refugees from the south arrive. Masri focuses on the experience of a small group of individuals, including a relief worker, a theater performer who organizes workshops and performances with traumatized and displaced children, and a television journalist. Their activity is presented straightforwardly; the drama is in the situation and in the images themselves. Masri’s camera also captures a lasting legacy of the invasion: Lebanese praise for Hezbollah for having withstood the Israelis.

Merely a Smell

Directed by Maher Abi Samra
Lebanon/France 2007, video, b/w, 10 min.

Summer 2006. The Israeli war on Lebanon. A boat embarks for a besieged Beirut to evacuate foreign nationals. Relief workers dig for corpses among the rubble of bombed buildings. Death and destruction are rendered in sober black-and-white images as ruthless as they are beautiful.

The Shooter

Directed by Ihab Jadallah.
Palestine 2007, video, color, 7 min. Arabic with English subtitles

Detached from the daily horrors of the occupation, Ramallah filmmaker Ihad Jadallah nonetheless often finds himself compelled by producers, funders, collaborating artists and viewers to present himself and his work in accordance with a “meta-script” composed of victims, violence and shooters. Jadallah’s film is at once a parody and a rejection of these constraints.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Sunday October 12 at 3pm

The Roof (Al-sateh)

Directed by Kamal Aljafari.
Palestine/Germany 2006, video, color, 60 min. Arabic with English subtitles

Palestinian director Kamal Aljafari’s poetic and political film records his journey back to his family and homeland and explores his firm conviction that “home” can be a feeling as well as an actual place. Aljafari’s voyage is less a definite search for memories than an attempt to view the present as a living past. As his camera pans slowly around the rooms of homes inhabited, damaged and ruined, past and present collide. The use of stillness and off-screen space creates a sense of suspension, of time spent waiting, of aftermath, of lives lived elsewhere. Aljafari has won praise for “raising anecdote to the level of allegory, enabling the film to trace meditative paths and rhythms.”

Jerusalem, the Adulterous Wife

Directed by Matthias de Groof.
Belgium 2008, video, color, 8 min.

This film juxtaposes archival footage of archaeological digs in Jerusalem with quotations of Biblical punishment for adultery for an oblique but provocative look at Jerusalem’s status as an ancient city and territory claimed by both Palestine and Israel.

Two Houses and a Longing

Directed by Dorit Naaman.
Israel 2007, video, color, 15 min. Hebrew with English subtitles

A young Israeli filmmaker reconstructs what she can of the lives and experiences of the former Palestinian residents of two houses now in Israeli hands.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700