Palestinian Cinema in Leeds

This year’s Festival of Palestinian Films launches, as usual, with a screening during the Leeds International Film Festival,

It Must Be Heaven (France-Qatar-Germany-Canada-Turkey-Palestine, 2019). The film runs 97 minutes, in colour and in English / French / Arabic / Spanish / Hebrew (English subtitles), it has an unusually wide ration, 2.66:1.

Already screened at the London Film Festival which provided this description:

The beard is now inflected with grey and the eyelids hang a little lower, but for Elia Suleiman, the deft comic touch and wistful regret for a home just out of reach remain strong in It Must Be Heaven. The Palestinian film-maker fourth feature film – and his first in a decade – revisits similar themes to his earlier work, once again employing himself as the near-mute central character. This time, however, Suleiman transposes much of the action to Paris and New York. The upheaval across the Arab world since 2011 has seen the Palestinian struggle for statehood lose some of the existential urgency it once had to outsiders. Suleiman’s film is a delicious reminder of both the vitality of the cause, and the vibrancy of his artistry.

The title screens at the Hyde Park Picture House on Monday November 18th and on Wednesday 20th, (some publicity mistakenly has the second screening down at the Vue, thankfully incorrect).

Voices Across the Divide (US 2013)

Running 57 minutes, in colour and English.

The title follows Alice Brainchild’s personal journey as she begins to understand the Palestinian narrative, while exploring the Palestinian experience of loss, occupation, statelessness, and immigration to the US, exploring voices for a just peace in the region.

At the Wheeler Hall On Friday November 22nd.

Wall (Canada 2017)

82 minutes in colour and English.

This documentary follows the English playwright David Hare as he explores the impact of the Separation Wall built on Palestinian land.

At Seven Artspace on Monday November 25th.

Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army (Palestine-UK 2003)

75 minutes in colour and English.

Jeremy Hardy died earlier this year and this documentary, a tribute, charts his travels and experiences in occupied Palestine.

Otley Courthouse on Wednesday November 27th.

Advocate (Canada-Switzerland- Israel 2019)

Runs 108 minutes, in colour and in Hebrew, Arabic and English. English subtitles.

A portrait of an Israeli human rights lawyer who defends Palestinians from the Israeli state.

The Pyramid Theatre on Sunday December 1st.

Gaza (Ireland-Palestine 2019)

92 minutes, in colour and in Arabic [English sub-titles].

Roy has written an in interesting review of this title.

Screening at the Hyde Park Picture House on Tuesday December 3rd.

 

Soufra (Souffra, US-Lebanon 2017)

73 minutes, in colour and Arabic (English subtitles).

The story of a food truck catering project built in a Lebanese refugee camp.

Woodhouse Community Centre, on Friday December 6th.

In Between / Bar bahar (Israel-France 2016).

In colour and 2.35:1, in Hebrew and Arabic (English subtitles).

Three Palestinian women living in Tel Aviv.

Roy’s review from 2017

HEART on Tuesday December 10th.

There is, unfortunately, one title that has not made it to the Festival though it was proposed for this year.

Witch Hunt (Jewish Britain 2019)

62 minutes, in colour and English.

A documentary which examines the victimization Labour party member and pro-Palestinian activist Jackie Walker. Produced by Jewish Voice for Labour whose Web Pages have a number of articles that expose this fraudulent campaign and it false claims against Palestinian activists.

The title can be seen here:

However, a theatrical screening of the title during the Festival would have provided an opportunity to publicise the documentary and encourage discussion of the important issues that it raises.

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