Independent Jewish Voices and Canada Palestine Support Network bring you two astonishing films by women journalists that raise an urgent question for Canadians: why is our government so firmly opposed to universal human rights in Palestine?
When an Israeli settler returns home to ask some difficult questions, she gets some surprising, and even more difficult answers. Lia Tarachansky’s On the Side of the Road reveals the personal cost of Israel’s decades-long destruction of Palestine — a cost borne by both Palestinians and Israelis.
Palestinian filmmaker Fida Qishta’s question is Where Should the Birds Fly? — a terrifying account filmed in Gaza under the Israeli bombs and missiles in 2009.
62 min. | 2013
FILMMAKER: Fida Qishta
Sunday, March 22 | 1:30 pm | Theatre 3
This blockade-breaking film is the first made about Gaza by a Palestinian woman living the realities of Israel’s siege and blockage of the tiny enclave. The film documents visually the impact of modern warfare and sanctions on a civilian population while revealing the strength and hope, humanity and humour that flourish among Palestinians of Gaza.
Qishta’s film becomes human when she discovers Mona Samouni, a child “wise beyond her years,” who explains to a western audience the murder of her entire family. Five years, and two massacres later, we’re left with the question, where is Mona Samouni now?
Qishta began her film career as a wedding videographer but made a swift transition into journalism, working with human rights observers and filming the Cast Lead invasion of Gaza. She also founded Life-Makers Centre in Gaza: a safe place for children to play, learn and recover from trauma.
WINNER, Honolulu International Film Festival 2013
OFFICIAL SELECTION, Manhattan Film Festival 2013; Al Jazeera Film Festival 2013; Harlem International Film Festival
85 min. | 2014 | Naretiv Productions
FILMMAKER: Lia Tarachansky
Sunday, March 22 | 3:30 pm | Theatre 3
Tarachansky grew up in Israel’s largest settlement, Ariel. When the second Intifada broke out in 2000 her family moved to Canada where, for the first time, she met Palestinians and heard their stories. In this film, Tarachansky looks at Israelis’ collective amnesia of the fateful events of 1948 when the state of Israel was born and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became refugees. She follows the transformation of Israeli veterans as they uncover repressed memories of the war that changed the region forever. Tarachansky then turns the camera on herself and travels back to her settlement where that historical erasure gave birth to a new generation, blind and isolated from its surroundings. In 2009 the Israeli government proposed a law that forbade mourning this history. Attempting to shed light on the country’s biggest taboo, she is met with outrage and violence.