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Film Selection: Israel / Palestine

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world's longest standing conflicts.

Many people feel that resolving this conflict is the key to resolving the various conflicts throughout the Middle East. Some observers see this conflict creating Arab resentment towards the "West" and fueling radical Islamic terrorism. Especially since the conflict generates massive public discussion and debate, the Cinema for Peace Foundation wants to present you with an array of interesting films that provide inside views to several aspects of the conflicts, especially with regards to single fates.

We hope to support peace and reconciliation.

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Cinema Jenin - The Story of a Dream

Director: Marcus Vetter

Year: 2011

Country: Germany, Israel, Palestine

Length: 95 min

The dream of reopening the old cinema in Jenin/Palestine began with the critically acclaimed film “Heart of Jenin” (2010 German Film Award). The documentary film tells the story of Ismael Khateeb, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp, whose 11-year-old son Ahmed was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in 2005. Ismael and his wife decided to donate their son’s organs to Israeli children- a gesture of peace and reconciliation. The film helped to spread the message across the world. Jenin itself, however, still lacked a proper place to show its very own story. Therefore, Ismael Khatib, his translator Fakhri Hamad and filmmaker Marcus Vetter decided to bring the old cinema in the heart of the city back to life. Cinema Jenin is meant to be a place for the people, with much to offer: culture, fun, education, job opportunities, and a bridge to the wide world behind the wall.

The film Cinema Jenin tells this story from the very first moment. It becomes a drawn-out process, as the German director at the center of his own story encounters complex cultural relationships and sentiments. Initially, he doesn’t understand many Palestinian customs and he gets taken to task for it on several occasions. What’s more, the involvement of foreign parties is a delicate issue for many Palestinians – especially when it comes to Israel. Although the new cinema is supposed to welcome everyone, the enterprise prompts reactions that reveal the painful nature of the relationship between Palestine and Israel. The word “peace” becomes extremely charged, and the initiators Ismael, Fakhri and Marcus have to take care that the social project doesn’t turn into a political one. These and other problems need to be solved with the help of a few big names, lots of volunteers, and even more cigarettes.

Buy the film: http://www.amazon.de/Cinema-Jenin-Blu-ray-Marcus-Vetter/dp/B0097YEU1K

 

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After the Silence

Director: Stephanie Bürger and Julie Ott

Year: 2011

Country: Germany

Length: 82 min

That's why I no longer just call him "the terrorist."
I call him by his name: Shadi Tobassi."
-Yael Armanet-Chernobroda

March 31, 2002: Shadi Tobassi, a suicide bomber from Jenin, blew himself up in the Arab-owned Matza Restaurant in Haifa, killing 15 people. Among the victims was Dov Chernobroda, an Israeli architect who had dedicated his life to the peace process. Eight years later, his widow Yael decides to contact the Tobassi family, in an attempt to break down the wall of silence that existed on both sides. Nach der Stille is the extraordinarily brave, moving story of their journey.


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Budrus

Director: Julia Bacha

Year: 2009

Country: Israel, Palestine, USA

Length: 70 min

Ayed Morrar, an unlikely community organizer, unites Palestinians from all political factions and Israelis to save his village from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. Victory seems improbable until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women's contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filleddocumentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat yet remain virtually unknown to the world.

Rent the film: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/budrus/id580750373


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The Heart of Jenin

Director: Leon Geller and Marcus Vetter

Year: 2008

Country: Germany

Length: 89 min

Time: Twelve-year-old Ahmed Khatib came from a Palestinian family and in 2005 he was living with his father in a refugee camp on the West Bank when a soldier saw him playing with a toy gun. The soldier mistook the toy for a real weapon, and he fired on Ahmed, killing the boy. Ahmed's father, Ismael Khatib, had spent years living under Israeli occupation and served time in prison for fighting on behalf of the Palestinian cause, only to see his young son die at the hand of Israeli forces. But when Ismael was asked if Ahmed's organs could be used in transplants to save the lives of Israeli children, his compassion outweighed his anger and he said yes. Filmmakers Leon Geller and Marcus Vetter examine this extraordinary true story in Das Herz von Jenin (aka The Heart of Jenin), a documentary which features interviews with Ismael Khatib and three of the children whose lives were saved by the donation of Ahmed's heart and kidneys; the film shows how Ismael has struggled to move away from hate, while the circumstances which fueled his anger have scarcely changed. The Heart of Jenin was an official entry at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.

Buy the film: http://cinedat.org/filme/das_herz_von_jenin


lemon_tree.jpgLemon Tree

Director: Eran Riklis

Year: 2008

Country: Israel, Germany, France

Length:106 min

Salma Zidane, a widow, lives simply from her grove of lemon trees in the West Bank's occupied territory. The Israeli defense minister and his wife move next door; the Secret Service orders the trees removed for security. The stoic Salma seeks assistance from the Palestinian Authority (useless), Israeli army (dismissive), and a young attorney, Ziad Daud, who takes the case; this older client attracts him. While the courts deliberate, the Israelis fence her trees and prohibit her from entering the grove. As the trees wither, the defense minister's wife and, separately, an Israeli journalist, look on Salma with sympathy. In this allegory, does David stand a chance against Goliath?

Buy the film: http://www.amazon.de/Lemon-Tree-Hiam-Abbass/dp/B001U05WS4

 

skw_WaltzWithBashir_poster.jpgWaltz With Bashir

Director: Ari Folman

Year: 2008

Country: Israel, France, Germany, USA, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia

Length: 90 min

One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there's a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can't remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.

Rent the film: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/waltz-with-bashir/id315592227

 

Promises.jpgPromises

Director: B. Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro, Carlos Bolado

Year:2001

Country: USA

Length:106 min

Promises follows the journey of one of the filmmakers, Israeli-American B.Z. Goldberg. B.Z. travels to a Palestinian refugee camp and to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and to the more familiar neighborhoods of Jerusalem where he meets seven Palestinian and Israeli children. Though the children live only 20 minutes apart, they exist in completely separate worlds; the physical, historical and emotional obstacles between them run deep. Promises explores the nature of these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who dared to cross the lines to meet their neighbors. Rather than focusing on political events, the seven children featured in Promises offer a refreshing, human and sometimes humorous portrait of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Buy the film: http://www.promisesproject.org/dist.html

Film Selection: Israel / Palestine
The Heart of Jenin

After the Silence

Budrus

Lemon Tree

Waltz With Bashir

Promises