Palestinian Film Director Aims for ‘Different Image’ of Gaza

Tue Apr 23 2024
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ASWAN: Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi wants to “export a different cinematic image of Gaza”, now hit by war, as he presides over the jury at the 8th Aswan International Women Film Festival themed on “resistance cinema”.

Against the backdrop of the war in the Gaza Strip, the festival in southern Egypt decided to screen 6 Palestinian short movies in the competition, which brings together filmmakers from across the region, according to AFP.

This was despite many voices in the region demanding the suspension of all artistic and cultural activities in solidarity with Palestinians.

Masharawi is known globally for being the first Palestinian film director to be in the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival when his movie “Haifa” was selected in 1996.

Born in the Gaza Strip to refugees from the port city of Jaffa, the director now residing in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. He said he did not consider cinema and art as purely entertainment.

He asked that if film festivals do not play their role when huge disasters occur, as with what is currently happening in Palestine, then why do they exist?

Palestinian Movies

Among the 6 Palestinian movies included at Aswan is the fourteen-minute documentary film “Threads of Silk” by director Walaa Saadah, who died last month in the war. The movie looks at the meanings of the embroidery on the Palestinian “thawb” robe.

Another is the 5-minute film “I am from Palestine” directed by Iman al-Dhawahari, about a Palestinian-American girl in the US who is shocked at school to see a map of the globe without her country.

The sixteen-minute documentary movie “A Cut Off Future” directed by Alia Ardoghli, highlighted the daily experiences of twenty-seven girls between the ages of eleven and seventeen in the shadow of the Israeli occupation.


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