Once Again: Five Palestinian Human Rights Stories
In the fall of 2001, the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University [firstname.lastname@example.org] asked five Palestinian directors to produce five documentaries dealing with the present situation in Palestine and Israel.
ISMAEL HABBASH tells the story of a Palestinian family who had always dreamt of owning an apartment that they could call their own. As soon as they move into their newly-owned apartment in Al Bireh, Israeli shelling begins and the family's youngest son, Ubai, is killed. Their dream house has become a nightmare.
NADA YASER documents the inhabitants of a Beduin village in Galilee. One of sixty such Arab villages not recognized by Israel, the inhabitants live without basic necessities such as electricity and schools. From the village courtyard, men gather to talk and to observe daily life in the nearby Jewish town of Karmiel, with its plush homes built on villagers' land.
TAWFIQ ABU WAEL records what happened to 13 Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel who were killed by Israeli police during an October 2002 protest in Galilee and the Triangle. Tawfiq discovers that the actual number of deaths was 14. Unlike the 13 other citizens of the Israeli State, the 14th Palestinian martyr was a Gazan worker who had joined the demonstrations.
ABDEL SALAM SHEHADEH documents his time spent with a number of Gazan farming families who had planted trees on their land as a legacy to their sons and daughters. Since the trees occupy land separating the Israeli forces from Palestinian communities, the army has deployed military bulldozers to uproot them. Tanks lay guard in the area to prevent Palestinian fighters from hiding among the trees.
NAJWA NAJJAR has met a young boy, Muhammad, from the Qalandia refugee camp, which lies near the Israeli checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Muhammad is familiar with his family's ancestral home - a destroyed village in Israel. The stories he tells of his mother and grandmother help him forget his present day reality in the refugee camp.
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"How dare you leave this family and walk away?" This is what Reada says to her dead father who in 1972 hijacked a plane and died in the process. Her anger toward him is not very different from the anger felt by Samia, Surida and Sarah at the absence of their mother from their life, who was always too busy fighting the Israelis. These are the main characters in 3 cm less, women who wish to conciliate with their parents by capturing on tape their own attempts to do so.
George Khleifi was born in Nazareth in 1947. He studied at the INSAS School of Film in Brussels (1974-1978), and has produced several films and TV documentaries including You, Me, Jerusalem (1995), a Palestinian/Israeli collaboration with Micha X. Peled. He co-founded the Jerusalem Film Institute (1991-1996) with journalist Daoud Kuttab. He is currently the head of training and production at the Institute of Modern Media, Al Quds University.