London 2013 Trailer from Palestine Film Foundation on Vimeo.
I have some highlights of my own that I cannot wait to see again in the cinema:
Shorts Session at the Barbican including:
ASketch of Manners (Alfred Roch's Last Masquerade) Jumana Manna, 2012
Tunnel, Mariam Kashkoolinia, 2012
Roubama, Rakan Mayasi, 2012
Maqloubeh, Nicolas Damuni, 2012
Though I Know the River is Dry, Omar Robert Hamilton, 2013
Each of these films demonstrates a high quality of creative storytelling and production value. The dark, wry humour of Maqloubeh presents unexpected twists and turns within the short ten minutes, the beautiful masquerade of A Sketch of Manners lends to its mysterious outlook based on a single photograph and the tension of one man's reality between his political past and the open future of his family in Though I Know the River is Dry. Each film is unique in tone and narrative, together they present a new crop of filmmakers reflecting on the real and surreal through their cinematic imagination.
Very interesting to me personally as someone who remembers the Gulf War so well. These five films, from Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine, reflect on the short war from experimental points of view ranging between the political to the humorous. Directors anxious about their films, families discuss hypocrisies of religion and colonial histories and media are apathetic towards violence. Besides Elia Suleiman's debut in his Homage by Assassination, the film is a shocking, assertive and explorative out-of-the-vault look back at the 1991 war.
What is activism without images? What is history without archive? And within the internationalist movement of Palestine's Film Unit, how did cinema connect them to the Japanese Red Army? Vague histories, individuals with shifted identities, imprisoned radicals are remembered with images attempted to be recreated: The Anabasis questions the links between image, ideology, politics and history.
Testimony is an intense piece of cinema: popular Israeli actors collectedly recount horrifying testimonies by Palestinians subjected to the violence by Israeli perpetrators. Memories of beatings, shooting, sexual assaults are retold in Hebrew with actors standing against pastoral landscapes. The film is a powerful look at the influence of language and the affect of performance.
Jean We Jnoon
Funny, silly and realistically unreal: Mamdooh Afdile "casts" his own family in this humorous look at this own failure at making his film, a science fiction horror. As an out-of-work director, his family of doctors attempt to persuade him to use his mixed talents at the supernatural and filmmaking to venture into other lucrative businesses like wedding video production and horror-funhouse managing. But not everyone agrees with all the ideas...
Of course there is a lot more, check them out, see you there!