Moderator: Omar Jabary Salamanca
Participants: Miguel Lattin | Khadijeh Habashneh
During the long 1960s, filmmakers across the globe developed militant cinema traditions that aspired to break the prison of the image and to transform the world. Revolutions were fought with bullets, demonstrations and strikes but also with posters, songs and films. From Chile to Vietnam by way of Palestine, this cinema was central in the creation and circulation of revolutionary and liberation imaginaries. If these films remain a lively and contemporary archive that can guide us through our troubled times, so do the stories of how filmmakers themselves experienced this wave of cultural resistance. In this conversation, with Khadija Habassneh and Miguel Littin, we foreground the lived politics and poetics of those that collectively conspired to build a better future through cinema.
Filmmaker, researcher and consultant Khadijeh Habashneh (former Abu Ali) began working with the Palestine Film Unit as a volunteer, moving on to working full time in 1974, when the film unit evolved into the Palestinian Cinema Institute (PCI). Between 1976 and 1982, she was the Head of the “Archive and Cinematheque” department at the PCI. She wrote scripts and directed two documentary films including Children Without Childhood, which is also known as Children Nevertheless, and Women from Palestine, which was lost during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. She was a founding member and worked as member of executive committee of the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) between 1980 and 2009. She was also a founding member and Vice President at the Center for Women Studies in Jordan (1989-1992). Khadijeh Habashneh has worked extensively on women’s issues as well as cinema, having taught and published a number of books and articles in this field. And she has coordinated national campaigns for enhancing women’s participation in elections in Jordan (1996) and in Palestine (2002-2005). Habashneh is also member of board of Palestinian Woman Research and Documentation Center (PWRDC) and is involved in various human rights and cultural organizations.
Miguel Littín is a major Latin American film director, screenwriter, film producer and novelist. He was born to a Palestinian father, Hernán Littin and a Greek mother, Cristina Cucumides. In 1969, Littín directed the popular El Chacal de Nahueltoro, becoming a figure of the New Latin American Cinema. He went into exile shortly after Augusto Pinochet came to power in a military coup, which ousted the democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende, on September 11, 1973. His 1973 film The Promised Land was featured in the Cannes Film Festival, New York film festival and the 8th Moscow International Film Festival. While in Mexico he directed several films, including Letters from Marusia, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, El Recurso del Método (Long Live the President) and The Widow of Montiel. Then, in Nicaragua, he produced Alsino and the Condor, which won the Golden Prize at the 13th Moscow International Film Festival. After moving to Spain in 1984, Littín made Acta General de Chile, a film which in turn became the subject of the book Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littin by Nobel author Gabriel García Marquez. After his return to Chile, he continued to make films, including Tierra del Fuego and Dawson Island 10. His films Actas de Marusia and Alsino and the Condor were nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Film in a Foreign Language. His 2005 film The Last Moon was entered into the 27th Moscow International Film Festival.
Omar Jabary Salamanca is a research fellow and lecturer based at Ghent University. He is also the leading programmer for Eye On Palestine Arts and Film Festival.
These round table conversations at a distance focus on the backup plan: a concept that Palestinian filmmakers are all too familiar with. These panels aim to connect these familiar experiences to one another, toward a greater understanding of how the Palestinian film scene will adapt – on the fly – to the latest developments in the international industry.
Throughout the week, an episode will be released each day at 15:30 Jerusalem Time. Video will be posted on our site, and audio will play live on Radio Al Hara.
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