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Media Release

August 27, 2012


What: Witness Palestine Film Series (first Palestinian Film Series in the history of Rochester)
When: September 20 to October 4, 2012
Where: Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607
Contact: (585)-271-2885

About the Witness Palestine Film Series

The Witness Palestine Film Series grew from the experiences of individuals in the Rochester area who traveled to the Middle East and were moved by what they saw and heard. The films being screened this year were selected from 50 documentaries and narrative films. These are compelling films which illustrate the realities on the ground in both the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. A group of diverse panelists, most with firsthand experience of the conflict, will lead discussions after each screening.

Witness Palestine Film Series – schedule for 2012

  • Thursday Sept 20 at 6:45 p.m. - Occupation Has No Future
  • Sunday Sept 23 at 2:00 p.m. - Salt of This Sea
  • Thursday Sept 27 at 6:45 p.m. - Home Front & One Family in Gaza
  • Sunday Sept 30 at 2:00 p.m. – Budrus
  • Thursday Oct 4 at 6:45 p.m. – Private

More about the films

Occupation Has No Future (Documentary) - Sept 20 at 6:45 p.m.
In the Fall of 2009 a group of US veterans and war resisters traveled to Israel/Palestine to meet with their Israeli counterparts in an effort to strengthen connections and share experiences. Occupation Has No Future uses this trip as a lens to study the conflict, examine the occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, and explore the work of Israelis and Palestinians working together against militarism and occupation.
Salt of This Sea (Narrative Film) - Sept 23 at 2:00 p.m.
Born in Brooklyn to Palestinian refugee parents, Soraya (poet Suheir Hammad) decides to journey to the country of her ancestry when she discovers that her grandfather's savings have been frozen in a Jaffa bank account since his 1948 exile. She soon finds out that her simple plan is a complicated undertaking - and one that takes her farther from her comfort zone (both geographically and emotionally) than she'd imagined, in this romantic drama.
One Family in Gaza (Short Documentary) - Sept 27 at 6:45 p.m.
A few months after the 2008-9 Israeli military invasion of Gaza, which killed nearly 1,400 Gazans and caused enormous physical damage, Jen Marlowe visited Gaza. She met and interviewed many people, but one family made an enormous impression on her. Kamal and Wafa Awaajah suffered unspeakable loss during the war. Now they live in a tent, their house nearby in ruins. Physically and emotionally, their lives have been destroyed. Yet they maintain an incredible warmth and humanity as they try to nurse their children through the psychological trauma caused by their terrible experiences during the invasion. This 23-minute film leaves a vivid, indelible impression. It is moving without being sentimental.
Home Front (Short Documentary) - Sept 27 at 6:45 p.m.
Featuring the accounts of a Palestinian teenager forced to share his house with settlers, an American-born Israeli mother who gets drawn into the demonstrations after her children's arrest, a Palestinian community organizer who brings local women to the forefront of the struggle, and a veteran of the Israeli army who becomes one of the campaign's leaders, Home Front chronicles the resolve of a neighborhood, and the support it receives from the most unexpected of places.
Budrus (Documentary) - Sept 30 at 2:00 p.m.
Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat.
Private (Narrative Film) - Oct 4 at 6:45 p.m.
Private is a 2004 film directed by Saverio Costanzo. A debut film by the director, it is a minimalist psychological drama about a Palestinian family of seven suddenly confronted with a volatile situation in their home that in many ways reflects the larger ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. Starring well-known Palestinian actor Mohammad Bakri.


The Witness Palestine Film Series is sponsored by Christians Witnessing for Palestine. The organizing committee includes activists involved in interfaith dialogue and international solidarity work as well as local filmmakers.

More information

Tickets: $8

For more info on the Witness Palestine Film Series, please visit Witness Palestine (Rochester) on Facebook