Now in its eighth year, the Bristol Palestine Film Festival is back this December with an amazing range of fictional features, documentaries and short films by both Palestinian and international directors.  

Surprising or moving, tragic or funny, these films bring audiences new and unexpected insights into the lives of ordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances, and have been chosen to provoke deep thought and discussion.

Bristol Palestine Film Festival 2018 Poster

We are delighted to welcome guest filmmakers and commentators who add contextual depth to the programme. In this year’s festival we have three Q&As: Academy Award nominated writer David Hare will be talking about his feature length animation Wall; Director Muayad Alayad will be discussing his latest film The Reports on Sarah and Saleem; and the documentary Killing Gaza will be followed by a discussion with Dr Swee Ang, founder of Medical Aid for Palestinians. We will also be showing a prerecorded Q&A with director Annemarie Jacir after her film Wajib.

The festival at a glance

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Films at a glance

Programme

Tuesday 4th December, 2018

Gaza Surf Club

Gaza Surf Club

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Palestine Museum & Cultural Centre, 27 Broad Street, Bristol BS1 2HG

Against a background of bombed out buildings, relentless Israeli incursions, and the prison-like existence of life in the Gaza Strip, a small group of resilient locals have found a way to escape – in the laid back, mellow sport of surfing. This heart-warming documentary is a celebration of youth and self-expression, focusing on the protagonists’ struggles to do what they love, in the face of societal and familial pressure in the depressing reality of life in the Gaza enclave.

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Wednesday 5th December, 2018

Naila and the Uprising

Naila and the Uprising

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Palestine Museum & Cultural Centre, 27 Broad Street, Bristol BS1 2HG

When a nationwide uprising breaks out in 1987, a woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three, joining a clandestine network of women in a movement that forces the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. Using evocative under-camera animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage, this film brings out of anonymity the courageous women who shook the Israeli occupation and put Palestinians on the map for the first time.

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Wednesday 5th December, 2018

In Between

In Between

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: The Windmill Pub, 14 Windmill Hill, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4LU

Maysaloun Hamoud’s spiky, compelling debut feature is an eye-opening portrait of three strong, independent minded Israeli-Palestinian women sharing an apartment in Tel Aviv. A terrific exploration of the struggle to be true to oneself when confronted by the expectations of others, Hamoud’s film brilliantly depicts how these women, away from the constraints of their families, find themselves ‘in between’ the free and unfettered lives they’re aspiring to lead and the restrictions still imposed on them by their country and their families.

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Thursday 6th December, 2018

Wall + Q&A

Wall + Q&A

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: The Watershed, Bristol, BS1 5TX

A feature-length animated film written by and starring preeminent British playwright and two-time Academy Award nominee David Hare. The film follows the writer on a trip to the Middle East to explore the impact the wall separating Israel and Palestine has had on the people of the region. Using advanced animation tools and 3D motion-capture footage, filmmaker Cam Christiansen employs a distinctive handcrafted approach that conveys the reality of the 708-kilometre barrier as no film has before. Rich with rhythmic, raw imagery, the film is framed by Hare’s journey, as both his heart and mind are shaken by the incongruities and contradictions of life in the shadow of the wall.

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Friday 7th December, 2018

Team Gaza

Team Gaza

Time: 8:00 pm

Location: The Cube, Dove Street South, BS2 8JD, Bristol

Documenting the lives of four young people daring to dream in Gaza, a land strip sealed off from the outside world. Stuck between walls these four Gazans try to build their lives. One wants to marry his niece, a second tries to rebuild his bombarded house, a third tries to flee the strip and the last turns to weapons. Together they unite in a football team, the only place where they can forget about everything. Outside of the football pitch, they pray and they fight for a better future, despite the hardships in war-torn Gaza.

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Friday 7th December, 2018

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem + Q&A

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem + Q&A

Time: 8:30 pm

Location: The Watershed, Bristol, BS1 5TX

Sarah is Israeli and runs a café in West Jerusalem. Saleem is Palestinian from East Jerusalem and works as a deliveryman. Despite being worlds apart, Sarah and Saleem risk everything as they embark on an illicit affair that could tear apart their unsuspecting respective families. When a risky late-night tryst goes awry and threatens to expose them, the two of them look on helplessly as their frantic efforts to salvage what’s left of their lives further escalate things. Caught up in the occupying machinery and socio-political pressure, Sarah and Saleem find themselves trapped in a web of deceit and not even the truth looks able to stop it.

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Saturday 8th December, 2018

New Palestinian Shorts

New Palestinian Shorts

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: Palestine Museum & Cultural Centre, 27 Broad Street, Bristol BS1 2HG

Bringing together a collection of some of the best short films to emerge from Palestine this year including drama, documentary and animation. More info about the shorts will follow soon. There will be an interval during the screening where there will be the opportunity to purchase delicious Palestinian food from the museum café.

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Saturday 8th December, 2018

The Insult

The Insult

Time: 5:30 pm

Location: The Watershed, Bristol, BS1 5TX

In today’s Beirut, an insult blown out of proportions finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, in court. From secret wounds to traumatic revelations, the media circus surrounding the case puts Lebanon through a social explosion, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and prejudices. Director Ziad Doueiri masterfully takes this private clash of wills as a starting point to explore historic rifts between Lebanese communities, and the aftermath of the civil war. Using both humour and pathos, The Insult is ultimately a plea for empathy, forgiveness and peace.

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Saturday 8th December, 2018

Wajib

Wajib

Time: 8:00 pm

Location: The Cube, Dove Street South, BS2 8JD, Bristol

Abu Shadi is a divorced father and a schoolteacher in his mid-60s living in Nazareth. After his daughter’s wedding in one month he will be living alone. Shadi, his architect son, arrives from Rome after years abroad to help his father in hand delivering the wedding invitations to each guest as per local Palestinian custom. As the estranged pair spend the day together, the tense details of their relationship come to a head challenging their fragile and very different lives.

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Sunday 9th December, 2018

Killing Gaza + Q&A

Killing Gaza + Q&A

Time: 2:40 pm

Location: The Watershed, Bristol, BS1 5TX

Independent journalists Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen documented Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza during the war, and chronicled its horrific aftermath. As they waded through the rubble of Gaza’s destroyed border regions, they turned a camera onto the survivors of the slaughter and let them speak for themselves. While giving voice to the pain of a people under siege, Cohen and Blumenthal also highlighted Gazans’ inspiring acts of creative resistance, from painting to break-dancing to literature, that allow them maintain their humanity in the face of deprivation and war.

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Sunday 9th December, 2018

What Walaa Wants

What Walaa Wants

Time: 5:40 pm

Location: The Watershed, Bristol, BS1 5TX

Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of being a policewoman, wearing a uniform, avoiding marriage, and earning a salary. Despite discouragement, Walaa applies – and gets in. This intimate documentary follows Walaa from aged 15 to 21,brings us the story of a young woman navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.

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Sunday 9th December, 2018

The Insult

The Insult

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: The Curzon, 46 Old Church Rd, Clevedon BS21 6NN

In today’s Beirut, an insult blown out of proportions finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, in court. From secret wounds to traumatic revelations, the media circus surrounding the case puts Lebanon through a social explosion, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and prejudices. Director Ziad Doueiri masterfully takes this private clash of wills as a starting point to explore historic rifts between Lebanese communities, and the aftermath of the civil war. Using both humour and pathos, The Insult is ultimately a plea for empathy, forgiveness and peace.

Read More >

Sunday 9th December, 2018

Tel Aviv on Fire

Tel Aviv on Fire

Time: 8:00 pm

Location: The Cube, Dove Street South, BS2 8JD, Bristol

Salam, a charming 30-year-old Palestinian living in Jerusalem, works as an intern on a popular Palestinian soap opera, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” which is produced in Ramallah. Every day Salam must pass through an arduous Israeli checkpoint to reach the television studios. He meets the commander of the checkpoint, Assi, whose wife is a huge fan of the show. In order to impress her, Assi gets involved in the writing of the show.

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