In response to current grave injustices suffered by the Palestinian people, the Doha Film Institute will present the 'Voices from Palestine' screening series, a showcase curated to engage the transformative power of cinema to bring balance to the global narrative. The series amplifies the voices of Palestinian filmmakers to counter targeted censorship and misrepresentation and creates the space for understanding, empathy, and shared humanity.
The series will kick off on November 2 with a free public screening of Elia Suleiman’s cinematic masterpiece The Time That Remains at 8 PM in Katara Building 16. This screening is presented in partnership with Filmlab Palestine as part of a global activation of their ‘Palestine Cinema Days’ Festival, in observation of the sombre anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on that day in 1917 that led to the upheaval of Palestinian lives.
This will be followed by a week-long free public programme of eight Palestinian films at Katara Building 16, Drama Theater. Films will screen on a first-registered, first seating basis and will include Q&A sessions with the directors.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of DFI, said:
“As the human conscience of the world continues to be shocked by the suffering of the Palestinian people, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Palestine. In this most challenging time when their voices are being distorted and censored, we believe that fair representation of their narratives is crucial. Voices from Palestine presents the stories, the struggles, and the indomitable spirit of the Palestinian people through the lens of their own filmmakers. These are more than stories—they are a cry for justice, a call for acknowledgement, and a means to preserve the narratives of a people struggling to survive the unspeakable.
She added: “Since its inception, DFI has championed voices from underrepresented communities around the world to balance narratives in the world of storytelling. Amplifying Palestinian voices has always been central to our work and we remain committed to their authentic representation and the accurate portrayal of their experiences and humanity. There is gross injustice of incredible proportions, and we must continue to act as a catalyst for their unfiltered stories to be heard, recognised and respected. Now is the time for us to stand together in solidarity as a community united for justice, peace and humanity, in unwavering support of a free Palestine.”
The Time That Remains (France, Belgium, Palestine, UK/2009) by acclaimed filmmaker Elia Suleiman, is a four-episode semi-autobiographical film, about his own family, from 1948 until recent times. Fuad, a gunsmith, witnesses the destruction in Nazareth after the Israeli takeover in 1948. Years later, his son Elia grows up defiant of the Israeli occupation and has trouble accepting the change.
The other films being screened as part of the programme are:
- My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (Jordan, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Germany/2013) is a poetic documentary that narrates the story of its director, Mais Darwazah, who takes a first-time journey to her homeland of Palestine. She leaves a secluded reality and follows a lover she has never met; Hasan, a Palestinian artist, who unveils a beautiful and utopian world to her. It will screen on Nov 3 at 4:00 PM.
- Divine Intervention (France, Palestine/2002) by Elia Suleiman, set in Nazareth, where under the guise of banal normalcy, the town embraces folly. Under pressure due to his failing business, a man takes matters into his own hands and tries to break a chain reaction of petty feuds. A love story takes place between a Palestinian man living in Jerusalem and a Palestinian woman from Ramallah. The man – E.S. – shifts between his ailing father and his love life, trying to keep both alive. The screening is on Nov. 3 at 8:00 PM.
- 3000 Nights (Palestine, France, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Qatar/2015) by Mai Masri, is about Layal, who is falsely accused, arrested, interrogated, and incarcerated in an Israeli jail. As she becomes accustomed to being surrounded by hardened Israeli criminals and Palestinian political prisoners, all to the tune of the torment visited by cruel guards and a nearly sadistic warden, Layal discovers she is pregnant. It will screen on Nov 4 at 4:00 PM.
- The Roof (Palestine, Germany/2006) by Kamal Aljafari is a portrait of Aljafari’s family in Ramleh and Jaffa that hovers between documentary and cinematic memoir, guided by a nimble camera moving calmly but ceaselessly around the rooms of homes inhabited, damaged and ruined. The title refers to the roof missing from the house where Aljafari’s family resettled in 1948, a home unfinished, an incomplete construction project. It will be screened on Nov. 4 at 8:00 PM.
- Dégradé (Palestine, France, Qatar/2015) by Arab Nasser and Tarzan Nasser is set on a hot summer's day in the Gaza Strip. Christine’s beauty salon is heaving with female clients: a bitter divorcée, a religious woman, a lunatic addicted to prescription drugs, a young bride-to-be accompanied by her asthmatic mother and her quarrelsome mother-in-law, and a very pregnant woman, among others. But their day of leisure is disrupted when gunfire breaks out across the street. The screening is on Nov. 5 at 7:00 PM.
- Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege (Lebanon, France, Qatar/2021) a feature documentary by Abdallah Al-Khatib, who was born in Yarmouk, which sheltered the largest Palestinian refugee camp in the world from 1957 to 2018. Between 2011 and 2015, he documented the besieged inhabitants’ daily lives, who chose to face bombing, displacement and hunger with rallying, study, music, love, and joy. Al-Khatib accompanies each increasingly heartbreaking scene with his odic and often incisive view of the situation. The film will be screened on Nov. 6 at 7:00 PM.
- 200 Meters (Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, Italy, Sweden/2020) by Ameen Nayfeh is about Mustafa and his wife Salwa, who come from two Palestinian villages that are only 200 meters apart but separated by the wall. Their unusual living situation is starting to affect their otherwise happy marriage, but the couple does what they can to make it work. The film will be screened first on Nov.7 at 7:00 PM and then again as an inclusive screening in partnership with TII of Hamad Bin Khalifa University and with the support of Katara Studios on Nov. 9 at 6.30PM.
- Wajib (Palestine, France, Colombia, Germany, Norway, UAE, Qatar/2017) by Annemarie Jacir is about Shadi, who returns to his hometown to help his father hand-deliver his sister’s wedding invitations. Drily humorous, ‘Wajib’ takes place over the course of one day as these two men travel from house to house beginning a new relationship, while at the same time trying to deal with old tensions. The screening is on Nov. 8 at 7:00 PM.
To register for the screenings:
Source & cover image credit: Press Release
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