CINEMA, SOUL IN THE EYES
organization Art Promotion

AL-MOR WA AL RUMMAN / Pomegranates and Myrr

 

Palestine – 2008 – DVD – color – 95’

 

Direction: Najwa Najjar

Screenplay: Najwa Najjar

Cinematography: Valentina Caniglia

Editing: Sotira Kyriacou, Bettina Böhler

Music: Mychael Danna, Amritha Vaz

Cast: Yasmine al Massr, Ali Suliman, Ashraf Farah, Hiam Abbas

Producer: Hani E. Kort

Production: Ustura Film, Rif Film, ZDF/Arte

 

SYNOPSIS

Najwa Najjar starts his first feature film with the joyful marriage of Kamar, an untamed and free-spirited dancer from Jerusalem and Zaid, who cares for the family’s olive groves in the West Bank area, whose existence is at risk for a new Israeli settlement. Zaid is arrested during a dispute for the contended land. Kamar remains alone with her parents in-laws in the country house and is in conflict between being the respectful wife of a political prisoner and continuing to develop her art in dancing. While the family of Zaid fights for his release from prison and against the confiscation of their land, Kamar fights against the attraction for a new dance instructor, Kais who is just arrived from Lebanon, where his family found refuge in 1948.

The metaphor of the film by Najjar is in the line of separation that divides every aspect of the protagonists’ lives: the Wall that separates Jerusalem from the West Bank area, the prison bars that separate the spouse, the barbed wire and the fence separating the confiscated lands from the farm of the couple. Basically, it is the same inability to find a common ground to solve problems that divide Israelis and Palestinians. However, the film does not provide explanations, but documents.

 

THE DIRECTOR: NAJWA NAJJAR

Najwa Najjar, a Palestinian grew up in Jordan, obtained a University degree in Economics and Political Science in the United States, where she took also a master’s degree in film and video production. She began her film career in 1999 with several documentaries {Na’im and Wadee (’99), A Boy called Mohammad, Jewel of Oblivion (2001), Yasmine’s Song (2006)}, for which she has received a number of international awards. In 2008 she wrote and directed her first fictional future film. She is currently finishing her second fictional future film Eyes of a Thief (co-produced by Palestine, Algeria, Iceland and France), for which she had the support of the Sundance Script Lab, of the Dubai Film Connection and of the Jordan Film Fund. She lives in Ramallah.

 

AWARDS AND FESTIVALS

2008 San Sebastian IFF:  Cinema in Motion Award

2009 Fribourg IFF – Competition

2009 Muscat FF:  Golden Dagger to Best Cinematography

2009 Doha Tribeca Film Festival: Best Arab Film