Palestine Stereo – Director, Rashid Masharawi

As I noted in my review of 12 Years a Slave I hurried to see this movie arriving just in time to find the escalator to the theatres broken and only minutes to get to cinema 14. Puff puff, I made it and it was really worth the effort. I do not think this movie will win any awards but not because it is not an charming and important film. The story is about two brothers living in Ramallah on the West Bank in occupied Palestine. The elder brother’s apartment block was bombed by the Israeli military to kill some terrorists but the collateral damage was that his wife was also killed and his younger brother was left deaf and dumb from the experience. Together they decide enough is enough and they work to raise $10K to fund emigration to…Canada. They raise the money by working as sound engineers for everything from weddings to government speeches to protests by Hamas or Hezbollah who however will pay them. In the course of raising the money they of course come to see that running away to Canada is ultimately no solution. The reasons to stay are multiple including family, love, politics and just helping their fellow Palestinians get by. It is a light film about a serious issue. I couldn’t help thinking and learning how hard it is to even think of emigration from your home. The other important message which the director emphasized to us in the Q and A afterwards was that most Palestinians are not interested in war or killing or politics (he makes wonderful fun of the Palestinian politicians) but are just people wanting to get by and be left alone. The sad thing is that the country has been divided since 1948 when the state of Israel was founded and war and separation is all they have known for over 60 years. I lived in Israel in the 60’s and we were friends with many Jews born in Palestine before the State of Israel was established also sometimes called Sabra. I remember looking at the Old City of Jerusalem with a Sabra friend of my father’s who pointed across what was then the border with Jordan and said that he had many Palestinian friends over there he had not seen in nearly 20 years and he missed them very much. I recommend this movie to anyone who would like to see a very human side to this long conflict.

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