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the director about the film / review

The director about the film
I think I managed to formulate a view that differs totally from other Arab and foreign contemplations. The difference is mainly that I adopted the position of a neighbor, thus and Arab, and not that of a Palestinian. This lead to me focusing rather on our mutual relations than on the conflict with Israel. The viewer might realize how I emphasized those nightmares which the Arabs caused in the lives of the Palestinians. My concern is to show how the Arab world is addressing the Palestinian cause: first one wanted to use the Palestinian issue and when this was not possible anymore, one tried to harm it. […] The fight between Israelis and Palestinians is as licit as public, yet the Arab-Palestinian conflict remains an internal affair, it happens in secret.
(11th International Documentary Film Festival Munich 1996)

The Road to Damascus - by Ioannis Mookas for Bidoun, Fall 2006
Malas was in Beirut a few months prior to Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon,and with a small crew visited the Sabra,Shatila, Burj al-Barajneh, and Ain al-Hulweh refugee camps, filming interviews with ordinary Palestinians, civilians and militants alike, most of them among the hundreds later massacred by Gemayel’s Phalangist militia on Israeli watch. The Dream is a rainbow at midnight, fearfully beautiful in stippled 16mm pastels, preserving the refugees’ voices and gainsaying their misfortune through recollected dreams interspersed with song (“Father, I have seen eleven planets”). One rickety matron shows off the makeshift carbine supplied by her son, declaring, “Of course it works!” There is disarming humor — one militant is seated before a poster of Che Guevara, their tousled manes merging in outline — and above all, a frank, easy fellowship, that in hindsight loads the film with tragic ballast.
source: bidoun.org

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