25th November - Shorts Session & Gaza Surf Club
2:00pm - phoenix cinema, high road, east finchley, n2 9pj
The Chair (dir. Laila Abbas, 15 mins)
A love story using Palestinian match-making methods. The Chair follows the story of a Jamaican-born Palestinian woman who suddenly finds herself surrounded by women and traditions she is unfamiliar with when visiting Palestine.
Ave Maria (dir. Basil Khalil, 15 mins)
Nuns of the ‘Sisters of Mercy’ convent in the middle of the West Bank wilderness have their daily routine of silence and prayer disrupted when a family of religious Israeli settlers crash their car into the convent’s wall. The Sabbath is approaching and they need to get home urgently, however, because of the Sabbath laws, the Israelis can’t operate a phone to call for assistance, and the Nuns have taken a vow of silence. Together they have to come up with an unorthodox plan to help them get home.
Roof Knocking (dir. Sina Salimi, 12 mins)
In war-stricken Gaza, a woman prepares a meal for her family to break the fast in the month of Ramadan. A phone call by an Israeli soldier alerts her of the bombing of her building in 10 minutes. Coming to accept her family’s fate is the only way she has to make a stand for her life, with grim consequences.
The Day My Father Dies (dir. Nayef Hammoud, 15 mins)
Salah, an acting student in Paris, heads home to Haifa in order to work on a play based on a eulogy for his father Amar. Upon greeting his father, he builds up the courage to share the concept of the play, and to his disappointing surprise, Amar likes the idea, he even wants to help make the play better than what Salah has already written. The next morning Salah discovers that the house runs on a generator. When Salah tries to figure out why this is, Amar avoids the question by talking about his great visions for the eulogy. Salah slowly realizes that his dad is no longer the hero he based the play on. He leaves the house to look for inspiration and perhaps figure out what his father's real economic situation is. When passing by the family business, Salah is shocked to see that the place has become dilapidated over the years. Finding his father hiding out on the apartment building roof, Salah confronts Amar about the truth. However, he is unable to give any explanations, Amar is still preoccupied with the eulogy. As Salah struggles to get answers, their encounter slowly turns into a theater play, with the neighbors being the audience. Salah eulogizes his father who is still alive, but dead in spirit.
Gaza Surf Club (dir. Mickey Yamine & Philip Gnadt, 96 mins)
Gaza – a strip of land with a population of 1.7 million citizens, wedged between Israel and Egypt and isolated from the outside world. 26 miles of coastline with a harbor that no longer services ships. Hardly anything gets into Gaza and even less gets out. The young generation is growing up with very little perspective - occupied and jobless. But against this background there is a small movement. Our protagonists are part of the surf community of Gaza City. Round about 40 surfboards have been brought into the country over the past decades with great effort and despite strict sanctions. It is those boards that give them an opportunity to experience a small slice of freedom - between the coastal reminder of a depressing reality and the Israeli-controlled three-mile marine border.
Please note there will be a 10 minute interval before the screening of Gaza Surf Club.