Saturday | Nov 23 | 13:00 | Iqrit
48mm Film Festival - SPECIAL EVENT
You are welcome to join us on a tour of Iqrit and screening of the Sci-Fi Trilogy by Larissa Sansour in the village church.
Iqrit is a Palestinian village located on a hilltop in the northern Galilee. In November 1948, the Israeli army arrived at Iqrit demanding that the villagers leave because the area was dangerous. Most of the 490 inhabitants were transferred to a nearby village and promised they could come back within two weeks. But the area was declared a military zone and they were forbidden from returning. The people of Iqrit took their case to the Supreme Court, which ruled in July 1951 that their evacuation had been illegal and that they must be permitted to return. On Christmas Eve of that year, however, Israeli soldiers demolished the village, leaving only the church and the cemetery intact. Later, the village land was expropriated for state use.
Since then, the villagers have fought a legal battle that ended in 2003 with the Supreme Court rejecting their demand to be allowed to reclaim their land. The original villagers and their descendants – now around 1,500 people scattered across northern Israel – are allowed only to hold services in the church and to bury their dead in the cemetery.
In 2012, a group of young people, descendants of Iqrit's refugees, moved back in an attempt to reclaim and rebuild the village. They planted vegetables and herbs amid the rubble, and lived in a makeshift structure next to the village church, where mass is celebrated every month. They also submitted a detailed master plan for their village that included construction of 500 homes. While the government's approval is still pending, the church was recently connected to the electricity grid.
Whereas the people of Iqrit want to believe in a hopeful future, insisting on their right to return, Sansour envisions the final uprootedness of the Palestinian experience and takes it to the extreme. However, she too does not give up on her right to a homeland, but offers creative ways to secure the future of her people.
As much as it is important to talk about the past, both Larissa Sansour and the people of Iqrit invite us to imagine the future as well. It could look like the artist's dystopian vision of a Middle East on the brink of disaster or more like the hopeful and down-to-earth vision of the Iqrit youth. Which one are we going to choose? How do you envision the future?
Umar Al-Ghubari from Zochrot will guide the tour, and curator Debby Farber will be a guest speaker at the screening.
Our bus will leave from Levinsky Park in Tel Aviv (Hagdud Haivri St., on the northern side of the park) at 11:00. You can also arrive directly to Iqrit at 13:00. Screening will start at 15:00, followed by Q&A.
Director: Larissa Sansour
Palestine | 2009-2016 | 44 min | Arabic with Heb & En subs
In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain
With Soren Lind
The film straddles the seams between sci-fi, archaeology, and politics. Combining live motion and computer-generated imagery (CGI), it explores the role of myth for history, fact, and national identity. A resistance group makes underground deposits of elaborate porcelain, attributed to an entirely fictional civilization. Their aim is to influence history and support future claims to their vanishing lands. Once unearthed by future archeologists, this tableware will prove the existence of this counterfeit people – in retrospect. By actualizing a myth of its own, the rebels’ work becomes a historical intervention – de facto creating a nation. Trailer
The Nation Estate project consists of a 9-minute sci-fi film and a photo series offering a clinically dystopian yet humorous approach to the deadlock in the Middle East. With its glossy mixture of CGI, live actors and an arabesque electronica soundtrack, the film explores a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood. Palestinians will have a state of their own in the form of a single skyscraper: the Nation Estate. One colossal high-rise will house the entire Palestinian population – now finally living the high life. Trailer
A Space Exodus
A Space Exodus quirkily sets an adapted stretch of Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey in a Middle Eastern political context. The film follows the artist herself in a phantasmagoric journey through the universe, echoing Kubrick's thematic concerns for human evolution, progress, and technology. In her film, however, Sansour posits the idea of the first Palestinian in space, and, paraphrasing Armstrong's moon landing, she interprets this fictional gesture as "one small step for a Palestinian, one giant leap for mankind". The film offers a naively optimistic vision for a future that contrasts sharply with the forces currently eating away at the very feasibility of a Palestinian state.
Full program on the festival's web