The 7th edition of the Festival Ciné-Palestine is taking place in Paris, France, from the 27th May to the 12th of June. Focusing on the topic of Jerusalem for this edition, the festival will be held partly online partly physically with a selection of 30 movies, composed of unreleased, previews, archives and a short movies contest.
« Gaza is not a separate country: we are one people, forcibly separated by the architecture of the Israeli state.» can we read in A letter against apartheid, an online initiative signed by hundred of Palestinian artists, writers and allies from the world of arts. This call for union takes place in a context of a recent peak of tensions between Israel and Palestine during may 2021, a rise of violence leading to the destruction by Israeli bombings of a tower located in Gaza, where the press agency Associated Press and the TV channel Al-Jazira were setteled ; several lynchings in other cities of the territory like Jerusalem, Lydda, Haifa, Jaffa ; persistent ethnic cleansing in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem…
What can appear as a violent callback to reality looking from the news’ perspective is just part of a bigger image, a constant reality that has established itself since 1967. As apartheid gained around, Palestinian territory got divided, shrinked, colonized, evaporated through migration waves – more than 50% of the Palestinian are out of Palestine’s territorry.
This makes the call for unity even more crucial, in order to create an immaterial link around Palestinian individuals when geography seperates them. This immaterial link can be made by art, as said in the Letter Against Apartheid to quote it again. « We, the undersigned Palestinian artists, writers and our listed allies in the arts ask you to join us. Please don’t let this moment pass. If Palestinian voices are silenced again, it may take generations for another chance for freedom and justice to arise. »
It’s in coherence with this context that the Festival Ciné-Palestine (FCP), created in 2015, is being held every year in different venues around the Paris region. Its purpose is to contribute to the promotion of Palestinian cinema. By enabling the broadcast of visual works made by Palestinian or on the topic of Palestine, the festival aims to highlight the quality and diversity of Palestinian cinema, to offer a chance for Palestinian artists to meet their public, create a space for encounters, discussions and debates.
How to make cinema without a state ? Such events like the FCP give rise to concerns like the economic difficulties of Palestinian cinema, the ability or not for a movie director to find his public when the population is spread over many countries. Writing history through film making is necessary to leave a mark, to build a shared memory, to create an archives fund to a people that is in the emergency of stating its existence. The awareness around the importance of cinema and images as a political tool is making its way, not only as a way to promote revolutionary ideas for Palestinian cause, but also as a way to depict their daily life, to give some insight on their existence.
Here is an extract of the movies screened during the festival. For more infos, have a look at the programme of the festival and don’t hesitate to participate in the online screenings. The festival is going on until the 12th of June.