Directed by Ibtisam Mara'ana
Hebrew, Arabic and English with English Subtitles
If only more reality programming were like this creative documentary: personal, raw, nuanced and thought-provoking. Filmmaker Ibtisam Mara’ana (Lady Kul El-Arab, SFJFF 2009) leaves her childhood home in Fureidis, an Arab village near Haifa, to make a life for herself in Tel Aviv—and make a movie about her journey. Early in the film, we meet Ibtisam’s neighbor Jonathan, a Jew from Montreal who has recently emigrated to Israel and soon becomes her boyfriend. The portrait of their charming cross-cultural relationship soon gets complicated, unfolding against the backdrop of the 2009 Gaza violence: glimpses of Ibtisam and Jonathan’s Facebook photo albums or scenes of them making dinner together give way to footage of the couple’s anti-war activity, their reluctance to reveal their relationship to inquisitive parents, and an extraordinary return visit with Jonathan’s Canadian grandfather to the kibbutz he helped found, where a heated political argument erupts. What emerges is a melancholy reminder that love can’t always conquer all. —Hagar Scher
DIRECTOR Ibtisam Mara’ana in person in San Francisco and Berkeley.
Preceded by Wajeh, 16 min.
Wajeh, a coffee maker, sells his coffee at the Qalandia checkpoint, near Ramallah. That makes him a well-known, central figure with an important role in the lives of the thousands of people who cross the checkpoint every day. The film Wajeh is part of Coffee—Between Reality and Imagination, a cinematic collaboration between young Palestinian and Israeli filmmakers.
Click here to browse films and buy tickets.