Other Cinemas are pleased to announce our weekender taking place on the 25th – 27th of March, which has been co-curated with filmmaker Saeed Taji Farouky
Militant Arab documentary cinema was born in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon and the classrooms of the London Film School. The filmmakers of the Palestine Film Unit armed themselves with cameras, their logo an AK-47 with a film canister on the gun barrel. Their films weren’t merely records of events, but live ammunition in the struggle for liberation.
Bullets fly from the barrel of a gun, from the inside out. Images flow into the barrel of the lens from the outside in. These directors weren’t passive observers, but active creators of their own revolutionary representation.
“… and for those who suffer from invisibility, the camera would be their weapon,”
– Elias Sanbar, Palestinian historian, diplomat, poet.
They are trade union activists in Lebanon’s Civil War (Mary Jirmanus Saba’s A Feeling Greater Than Love). Young female fighters in the war for the liberation of Dhofar, Oman (Heiny Srour’s The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived). Collectivised labourers in Cairo’s working class districts (Jasmina Metwaly & Philip Rizk’s Out on the Street). Female victims of Assad’s prisons (Hala Alabdalla and Ammar el-Beik’s I Am The One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave). Palestinians formerly detained in an Israeli prison (Ghost Hunting, from Raed Andoni) The invisible ones. In these films, the directors project them on our screens with affection, sensitivity, and respect. Dedicating time to the careful observation of someone is an act of love, a reflection of Che Guevara’s self-conscious statement: “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.”
These filmmakers tell stories to declare their of self-determination. It’s a revolutionary act, but one achieved through the simple manipulation of light and shadow. It’s a magic trick. (No wonder the first filmmakers were illusionists). We gather in dark cinemas, together, to collectively experience this illusion. To witness, journey, wonder, to see ourselves on that screen. When the film is over, the screen goes dark. But the light remains.
Day 1 – Friday 25th of March
6:30 pm – I Am The One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave by Hala Alabdallah and Ammar el-Beik
9pm – Snacks & music / poetry opening night TBC
Day 2 – Saturday 26th of March
1pm – Screening of Out On The Street by Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk
2:15pm – Philip Rizk, the director will be joining us in person for a Q&A exploring the themes of the film
3:30pm – Workshop on theatre techniques in documentary led by Philip Rizk
5pm – Food & break
6pm – Screening of Ghost Hunting by Raed Andoni
8pm – Discussion on trauma in docs with panelist TBC
Day 3 – Sunday 27th of March
1pm – Screening of A Feeling Greater Than Love by Mary Jirmanus Saba
3pm – Workshop on union & direct action
4:30pm – Food
6pm Screening of The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived by Heiny Srour
7pm Panel on militant Arab cinema – past and future
Location: The Yellow, 1 Humphry Repton Lane, Wembley, HA9 0GL View Map
Support: These events are supported by Brent Council and The Doc Society.