During our month of screenings to Bedouin communities we will open our screenings with a selection of short children’s animations, both Palestinian and international. These shorts are primarily without dialogue to avoid translation issues, and have been chosen for the purpose of visual stimulation for our young audiences, many of whom have never experienced moving image before.
Following this we will screen one of the three feature films listed below, decided on by the audience in question:
We chose Iman Kamel’s documentary, A Nomad’s Home, about female bedouins in the Sinai desert in Egypt, due to requests from our audiences for a film that would show them the lives of bedouins in other countries. Follow the link below for a full synopsis of the film.
Budrus is an award-winning documentary about a Palestinian community organiser, 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. We chose this documentary for it’s inspirational success story of non-violent resistance to the effects of the occupation.
I Am In Jerusalem explores life in Jerusalem through the eyes of an eleven year old boy. We chose this film as a way to allow those who no longer have access to Jerusalem due to Israeli imposed restrictions to see the city once again.
This month the Palestinian Mobile Cinema will visit 14 Bedouin Communities living in Area C, showing films to many for the first time in their lives, with the aim of raising these groups’ awareness of and resilience to forced displacement, and to strengthen the coping strategies of the communities, who are being systematically driven by the Israeli occupation from the land on which they have lived for centuries.
Area C is the 60 per cent of the West Bank under full Israeli control following the 1993 Oslo Accords when the occupied Palestinian Territories were divided into areas A, B and C. This means that Israel keep full security control, and control over building and planning in the whole area, and although the Oslo Accords called for the gradual transfer of power and responsibility to the Palestinian Authorities; this was frozen in 2000.
Today, whilst livestock dependency in Areas A and B of the West Bank remains economically viable, the same livelihood under the regime of the Occupying Power in Area C is reaching a point of collapse. All Area C residents including the pastoralist communities are subject to the tight control of land exerted by the Israeli authorities, which restricts the movement of Area C residents and is implemented through diverse measures. These include closed military areas, checkpoints, the West Bank Barrier and its buffer zone, nature reserves, facilitation of settlement expansion, restrictions on construction and ‘administrative demolition’ of all structures without building permits.
For the semi-nomadic herder whose livelihood depends on his ability to move freely along seasonal migration routes in order to access rangeland and natural water resources, these restrictions have had a crippling effect.
Livestock-dependent communities in Area C have become locked into a cycle of growing debt and poverty while also persistently being exposed to ongoing settler harassment and also to multiple counts of ‘administrative home demolition’ by the Israeli Authorities, essentially destroying many of the tents and shacks that communities erect for habitation.
Together with UNWRA the Palestinian Mobile Cinema has identified 14 of the most vulnerable bedouin communities living in Area C to visit, some within meters of illegal Israeli settlements. We will screen a range of children’s entertainment films, and documentaries which address issues of human and minority rights with ideas of how to face and cope with enforced displacement.
From May 2nd – 23rd our mobile cinema project is running a programme of 15 film screenings to 15 different Bedouin communities across the West Bank in collaboration with UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and ECHO.
The programme is designed to raise communities’ awareness and resilience to the forced displacement that they are experiencing, while also enhancing the cohesion and mobilisation within the communities themselves. We will be showing some entertainment films – shorts and animations – followed by one or two educational documentaries about human rights, minority rights, and Bedouin communities in the Middle East or elsewhere facing similar issues, with the aim to open up discussion and debate following each screening.
Check out our screening schedule on our PROGRAMME page, and keep your eyes peeled here for updates and pictures of the project in action!