Ajami (Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani, 2009)

Sunday 4th June 2017, Movie night: Ajami (Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani, 2009). 120 minutes, Language: Arabic and Hebrew. English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

The film contains five story lines, each of which is presented in a non-chronological fashion. Some events are shown multiple times from varying perspectives. A young Israeli Arab boy, Nasri, who lives in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, narrates the film.

The film borrows from the techniques of Gomorrah and the Mexican new wave as typified by, say, Amores Perros, in weaving characters and storylines to create a tapestry of lives. The drama is kickstarted by a drive-by shooting that kills an innocent boy, mistaken for one of the main characters. It’s the result of a vendetta between two crime clans and revenge for the shooting of a Bedouin weeks earlier.

Using non-professional actors, Ajami’s strands give an unusually nuanced insight to life in Israel, its confusion of identities and passions. Intelligently, the directors offer no glib solutions or sermons and allow the considerable energy of its images to sweep viewers along. Age-old prejudices and hatreds surface every now and then, but the main aim is the politics of day-to-day survival.

Movie trailer: https://vimeo.com/15503260 […Lees verder]

Movie night: Divine Intervention (Elia Suleiman, 2002)

divine_intervention_elia_suleimanSunday January 15th 2017, Movie night: Divine Intervention by Elia Suleiman, 2002, 92 minutes, in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

When Elia Suleiman’s “Chronicle of a Disappearance” hit the festival circuit in 1996 and 1997, it was a real revelation. The Palestinian director touched on the frustration of being an Arab in Israel, maintaining a strong sense of humor. Rather than agitprop, he made a witty, semi-autobiographical comedy, reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch’s “Stranger Than Paradise” and Jacques Tati. Using himself as a silent protagonist named E.S., Suleiman treated the film as a fictional diary. In many ways, “Divine Intervention” is a close follow-up to “Chronicle of a Disappearance.” Once again, Suleiman stars and remains silent. He plays a filmmaker struggling to write a script, inspired by his experiences. It also begins in his birthplace, Nazareth, and ends in Jerusalem. However, “Divine Intervention” is likely to be far more controversial than “Chronicle.” That film’s gentle tone and ironic ending were taken by some viewers as signs of acquiescence; on the other hand, the violent revenge fantasies of “Divine Intervention” are in danger of being taken literally.

Synopsis – Nazareth, birthplace of the Christian carpenter is also a Palestinian enclave inside Israel. Under the cover of a seemingly banal everyday life, the city is becoming overwhelmed by madness. An old man, a father, breaks down under the pressure of a decaying business. The son, a Palestinian from Jerusalem, is in love with a Palestinian woman from Ramala. Torn between his sick father and his love, he is trying to keep them both alive. Due to the political situation, the freedom of movement for women ends at the Israel Defence Forces checkpoint between the two cities. As the lovers cannot cross the border together they start meeting each other at an abandoned parking lot right at the checkpoint. They cannot free themselves from the clutches of occupation. Their intimacy is fatally marked with the military siege. Lonesome yearnings begin to produce violent retaliations, angry hearts beat with the spasm of imaginary getaways.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Movie Night: Incendies (2010)

IncendiesSunday January 4th 2015, Movie Night: Incendies (Scorched) by Denis Villeneuve (130 minutes, 2010). In Arabic and French, with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm.

People who have lived through noteworthy experiences – fascinating or tragic – have always inspired writers and filmmakers. Soha Bechara is one such figure. A militant with the communist resistance to the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon, Bechara was imprisoned without trial when she was 21 for trying to assassinate Antoine Lahad, the leader of the Israel-backed South Lebanon Army. She spent 10 years in Khiam prison, six of them in solitary confinement.
Bechara’s story has captured the imagination of Lebanese filmmakers and since her release from Khiam in 1998, she has appeared in a number of documentary studies. Now, in the wake of these artful documentaries, the first of the fiction films has come: “Incendies”. Villeneuve’s film is based on the play of the same name by Lebanese-Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad. The plot of “Incendies” revolves around the character of political activist Nawal Marwan, who lived through a harrowing detention before leaving her fictional home country for a life of exile in Canada. Her story is loosely inspired by Bechara’s own experiences. […Lees verder]

Movie night: Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Waltz_with_Bashir

Sunday August 18th 2013, Movie night: Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, Israel, 2008, 86 minutes, English subtitles). Door opens at 20:00, film begins at 21:00

‘Waltz with Bashir” is a devastating animated film that tries to reconstruct how and why thousands of innocent civilians were massacred because those with the power to stop them took no action. Why they did not act is hard to say. Did they not see? Not realize? Not draw fateful conclusions? In any event, at the film’s end, the animation gives way to newsreel footage of the dead, whose death is inescapable. […Lees verder]