Jerusalem24 – Last night, Tuesday, the Palestine Cinema Days festival opened at the Ramallah Cultural Palace. The festival took place amid severe safety procedures from enforcing a mask and social distancing policy.
This is the seventh annual film festival in Palestine. Organized by filmlab, the festival in its current and previous iterations has screened several films; whether Palestinian or international. Laila Abbas, the program coordinator of the festival has said “the goal of this festival has always been to bring independent cinematic films to the Palestinian audience that they cannot usually see on television or streaming services.” In addition to screening films at the Ramallah Cultural Palace, the festival will also have shows in four other locations; Jerusalem, Haifa, Bethlehem and the Gaza Strip.
The festival opened with Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s work “There is no evil”, which made its debut in the Arab world during the festival. The film’s narrative revolved around the difficult choices one may make in their life. From Heshmat, a good husband and father figure who loves his family and takes care of his elderly mother. The film takes us through a day in Heshmat’s life starting from the end of his work day and closes this chapter with a shock to the audience as to why he wakes up every morning at dawn.
In another chapter, Bahram, a doctor who is unable to practice medicine is trying to explain to his niece the reasons he is living as an outcast. Surprising the audience with an ending open to the audience’s interpretation. The different stories that make up There is no evil present the themes of morality, strength, the death penalty and how under oppression choice can be limited to either resisting or surviving.
The Palestine Cinema Days festival will continue until the 26th of October, with a screening of twenty four other films. The films will range from fictional dramas to documentaries from various countries around the world.