June film festival explores the past and future of the Palestinian story


Documentary films exploring the past and future of Palestine are the selections for the 2018 NJP Palestine film series.

 All shows begin at 7 p.m. on three consecutive Tuesdays beginning June 5, at Bethel Lutheran Church, 1321 North Ave., Northfield, and are free and open to the public. Each evening will end with discussion and a brief question-and-answer period.

7 p.m., June 5 – “Radiance of Resistance” looks at the lives of two young Palestinians who are models for the future of Palestinian resistance. Janna Ayyad (then 9 years old), has been called the youngest journalist in Palestine. Ahed Tamimi (14 years old in the film), received the Handala Courage Award from Turkey and met its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan. They live under military occupation in Nabi Saleh, Palestine, a town known for its non-violent resistance to Israeli control. Their courageous actions and words have led them to be viewed as global ambassadors for Palestinian human rights. The film is a look at their everyday lives and roles as part of a new generation of Palestinian civil rights leaders.

7 p.m., June 12– “On the Side of the Road”: Many Israelis deny a reality that is right underfoot ‑villages that before their country came into existence were populated by the indigenous Palestinian people. It’s a reality that the Israeli government actively suppresses, even forbidding its Palestinian residents from commemorating it. Director Lia Tarachansky, a former West Bank settler who underwent a change of mind in college, uses her journalism skills to create awareness among Israelis of the depopulated villages. The film sheds a light on the nation's biggest taboo – the effort to erase Palestine.

7 p.m., June 19– “The Great Book Robbery”: When the Arab-Israeli war raged in 1948, librarians from Israel’s National Library followed soldiers as they entered Palestinian homes in towns and villages. Their mission was to collect as many valuable books and manuscripts as possible. They are said to have gathered more than 30,000 books from Jerusalem and another 30,000 from Haifa and Jaffa. Officials called it a “cultural rescue operation,” but for Palestinians it was cultural theft. It was only in 2008 when an Israeli PhD student stumbled across documents in the national archive that the full extent of the 'collection' policy was revealed. Using eyewitness accounts, this film tries to understand why thousands of books appropriated from Palestinian homes still languish in the Israeli National Library vaults and why they have not been returned to their rightful owners. Was it cultural preservation or theft?

The film series is organized by NJP, a diverse group of community members who organize local events to educate and advocate for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel. Members of the committee are available to speak about their experiences in Palestine/Israel. For more information about the event or NJP, visit the website at http://www.njpmn.org/or by e-mail at info@njpmn.org.





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