November 2007 marks the 60th anniversary of the UN sponsored partition of Palestine, which divided the country into two states, one Jewish, the other Arab, creating the platform on which war in the Holy Land continues today.
Marking this tragic anniversary is a daylong Palestinian film festival at Cinéma du Parc on Thursday, Nov. 29, featuring the Canadian premieres of a series of Palestinian-produced films that examine through drama, documentary and artistic styles the realities of life and death in occupied Palestine.
"Against all odds, Palestinian filmmakers are producing groundbreaking cinema," explains documentary filmmaker Mary Ellen Davis, co-ordinator of the Palestinian Perspectives festival. "Despite not having a country, despite 60 years of exile and the daily violence of Israeli military occupation, a new generation of Palestinian filmmakers have produced magnificent films without any state backing, country or government – it’s really astounding to consider."
Featured at the upcoming festival will be a series of Canadian premieres, including After the Last Sky from Palestinian filmmaker Alia Arasoughly, examining the historical displacement of Palestinians from a now destroyed Arab village in what today is considered Israel. Also featured will be Chacun sa Palestine, a documentary that examines life for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees currently residing in Lebanon.
A network of Montreal progressive documentary filmmakers and Palestine solidarity groups organized the film festival in the context of a growing international debate surrounding appeals from artists around the world for a boycott of Israel, similar to the boycott enforced on South Africa during the apartheid era.
"An international boycott movement is occurring on three levels: cultural, academic and economic," continues Davis. "Today there is a growing international movement aimed at halting Israel’s apartheid policies toward the Palestinian people throughout the occupied territories."
Info and schedule at www.cinemaduparc.com