Luciana Castellina presenting “Bye Tiberias”
“This is a film that takes us back to our humanity. We need to personally identify with those young and old men and women and children,” said Luciana Castellina while presenting at this year´s European Film Festival in Lecce, “Bye Tiberias,” the Palestinian film nominated for the Oscars.
“Every night, for several days now, we are glued to the TV, paralyzed by the horror of the images we see. We risk getting used to what is shown on the screen, by falling silent, or falling victim to a subtle seduction to an evil against which we feel powerless. We need to return to feeling part of that visual pain, to return to being human too, not mere spectators, withered by the distance that the screen induces. We need to be able to identify ourselves with those young and old men and women and children—a part of humanity,” Luciana Castellina emphasized at the Lecce European Film Festival on the occasion of the screening of Bye Tiberias (Bay Tiberiades) co-produced by France, Palestine, Qatar by Lina Soualem which will represent Palestine at the 2024 Oscars.
The film unites images from today, family footage from the 1990s and historical archives to portray four generations of daring Palestinian women who keep their history and heritage alive through the strength of bonds, despite exile, expropriation and pain.
“It’s a film that helps people return home. It’s about four generations of Palestinian women meeting again after many years. It features a mother, Ham Abbas, (who left her country at age 20 to go to Paris where she became a famous actress working with famous directors such as: Amos Gitai, Steven Spielberg, Jim Jarmush and Radu Mihailhaleanu), and her very young daughter, the first to be born outside Palestine. She has become a filmmaker, which urges her to return, creating a meeting between grandmother, mother, daughter, granddaughter and many cousins. They confront each other, find each other, talk with each other even joking, while close to the great legendary lake of Tiberias, which is still always present. None of them belongs there anymore, nor do they feel as such after experiencing exile, expropriation and so much pain. But they all feel that they still entirely belong to the history of that place, in a collective context.”