The Great Book Robbery, 2010, 56mins
Wednesday 11 November, The Void Cinema, Sheffield Hallam University, Level 2, 18.00
Touching a deep nerve in Palestinian culture, The Great Book Robbery relates the wholesale theft of some 70,000 books from private Palestinian libraries in 1948, when librarians from the new Israeli National Library followed soldiers into Palestinian homes in an act they considered to be ‘a cultural rescue operation’, stealing all the books they found. Not until 2008 was this brought to light, by an Israeli PhD student. The film, by Israeli-Dutch filmmaker Benny Brunner, traces the libraries, some of their owners, and the theft and continued holding of the books, using eyewitness accounts and archival footage. The Great Book Robbery has been shown on Al-Jazeera and other European TV stations.
Saturday 21st November @ St.Andrew’s, Upper Hanover St., S3 7RQ
Ireland and Palestine,
Saturday 28 November, Showroom Cinema, Sheffield
Showroom prices apply
The Wanted 18, 2014, 75mins, 16.00
Amer Shomali, Director: “making a funny film about a serious situation”
In 1988 the citizens of the Palestinian village, Beit Sahour, became tired of having to buy Israeli milk, with all the control that implied, and bought 18 cows from a sympathetic kibbutz (collective farm). Apart from having to learn the differences between raising cows as opposed to sheep, this defiant act of resistance led to the Israeli government sending soldiers and helicopters to kill the animals. The cows were hidden by the villagers and the army’s hunt for them lasted 8 days. Amer Shomali’s film contains personal memories, archival footage with humorous and impressively crafted animation. It won Best Documentary awards at both the Abu Dhabi and Carthage Film Festivals.
Love, Theft and Other Entanglements, 2015, 90mins, 18.15
The humour in Muayad Alayan’s fiction feature shows another too frequent situation of Palestinian daily life. Living in a refugee camp and following a failed love affair, Mousa is desperate for money to bribe his way to an exit visa. He steals a car. But it’s absolutely the wrong car. In the boot is a kidnapped Israeli soldier. Mousa has never been political but now he finds himself at the centre of politics, with both the Palestinian militia and the Israeli military on his case. The film was festival-nominated: for Best First Feature at Berlin, New Director’s Showcase Award at Seattle, and International New Talent Competition, Grand Prize at Taipei.