Palestinian Filmmaker Visits NY/NJ
An outstanding Palestinian actor and filmmaker, Mohammad Bakri, visited the New York/New Jersey area from March 8-10, 2007, visiting New Jersey on March 8, and New York on March 9 and 10.
Mohammad Bakri directed Jenin Jenin, 1948, and Since You Left. As an actor, he starred in films such as Private and The Olive Harvest, for which he won an award for best actor. As a theatrical actor, he appeared in Hedda Gabler, co-produced Romeo and Juliet, and participated in many other productions. He also directed Arthur Millerís A View from the Bridge and other plays, including a one-man play he authored, Abu Marmar, about Palestinian prisoners.
On March 8, the movie Jenin Jenin was shown in Jersey City, NJ. The film is about the 2002 massacre in the Jenin refugee camp. An elderly man, a twelve-year-old girl, and the mother of a son who was killed all share their reactions. Jenin Jenin won the Best Film award at the Carthage International Film Festival. The co-producer, Iyad Samoudi, was martyred on his way home after shooting; fortunately, the film was able to be produced.
1948 focused on the Nakba and the destruction of villages, such as Deir Yassin. Several Palestinians from different villages showed their reactions. Bakriís daughter sang the works of the poet Mahmoud Darwish between interviews and Bakri himself narrated. 1948 was presented at Alwan for the Arts in Lower Manhattan, in Arabic with English subtitles.
On Saturday, March 10, the documentary film Since You Left was presented at Symphony Space in New York City. Bakri produced, directed and acted in the film, about his visit to the grave of the Palestinian writer Emile Habibi, in which he tells him what took place in Palestine after his death. The film was screened in Arabic with English subtitles.
After Since You Left was shown, a play, Almotashael, was presented. Produced and directed by Bakri, the play was based on Habibiís novel, Al Motashael, about a Palestinian named Saeed who lost his land but not his determination. The play, performed in Arabic, symbolized the fate of the Palestinian people.
Since You Left and Jenin Jenin are available on DVD. More information about Mohammad Bakri is available at his website, www.mohammadbakri.com.
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