Cinema of the Palestinian Revolution

29th January 2020
Wednesday 8:00pm - 10:05pm


Oldham Theatre


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$ 9.00
19 available
$ 10.00
99 available


3 tickets: $20 || 5 tickets: $30
(U.P. $10 per ticket)

The bundle ticket packages are available for purchase only at Oldham Theatre’s Box Office. The box office will be open one hour before the earliest showtime of the day on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Directed by: Various
Runtime: 92 minutes
Country: Palestine
Language: Arabic, English with English subtitles
Rating: TBA

In 1982, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raided the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Film Unit’s archives, robbing Palestine of decades of its visual history. These materials have since been hidden in Israel’s military archives, their access being limited and denied to Palestinians. Following the intervention of Creative Interruptions, an international anti-marginalization organization, the films in this programme were restored with the aim of returning them to both a Palestinian and international public. The programme marks an important retrieval of Palestinian revolutionary cinema, one that hopes to encourage a deeper understanding of Palestinian film history and of the intellectual ideas that motivated the PLO.


The Flower of All Cities (Zahrat Al-Madain)
Directed by: Ali Siam
1969 / 7’ / TBA
With Fairouz’s titular song in the background, we witness the disturbance of harmonious Palestinian civil life by the IDF. Produced by the Jordanian Ministry of Culture as part of a “cinematic magazine”, this film is a record of the rage that Palestinian and other Arabic peoples felt at Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem. It is also a rare example of the work of cinematographer Hani Jawharieh (1939-1876), one of the founding fathers of Palestinian cinema.


Palestine in the Eye (Filastin fi al-Ayn)
Directed by: PLO Film Unit, Mustafa Abu Ali
1976 / 28’ / TBA
This film documents the loss of cinematographer Hani Jawharieh for the PLO Film Unit. Through interviews with family and colleagues, the film also details the workings of the Film Unit and its international connections. Though later attributed to Mustafa Abu Ali, the film’s credits, listing its creators as a collective of fellow workers, reflect the Unit’s imperative of functioning as a non-hierarchical organization.


The Urgent Call of Palestine
Directed by: Ismail Shammout
1973 / 5’ / TBA
This is one of the few films by painter Ismail Shammout, Director of the PLO’s Cultural Arts Section in the ’70s. In it, he records Egyptian singer Zeinab Shaath’s performance of the titular song (by Indian poet Lalitha Punjabi), punctuated by images of war-torn Palestine and followed by an address by assassinated poet and PLO spokesman Kamal Nasser. Their words and music, articulating a call for peace, continue to hold striking relevance.


Glow of Memories
Directed by: Ismail Shammout
1972 / 12’ / TBA
The memories of an old Palestinian man are recounted through archival photographs and Shammout’s paintings. The model for Shammout’s work “Memories and Fire”, his story is one of resistance. Through pure montage without narration, the film heeds the early Soviet cinema imperative: overcome national boundaries and speak to the struggles of the world. Screened at several festivals in the ’70s, it won a prize at DOK Leipzig, a then-Soviet festival controversial for screening works critical of official policy.


Palestinian Identity
Directed by: Kassem Hawal
1984 / 40’ / TBA
In 1982, the IDF occupied Beirut, destroying the Palestinian cultural and educational centres there and looting five decades’ worth of films, photographs, and manuscripts. This film is a record of this event, and one of the few PLO films made after the IDF’s departure from Beirut. Through interviews with key members of Palestine’s cultural scene (including Mahmoud Darwish), the film presents a sophisticated analysis of Israel’s destruction of Palestinian culture as an act of cultural genocide.


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