2015 Witness Palestine Film Series

2015 Witness Palestine Film Series

The conflict in Palestine-Israel is decades old and so is the dispossession of the Palestinian people. However, this conflict is not presented as a human rights issue in mainstream American media. It is highly politicized and distorted. The idea of the Witness Palestine Film Series is to address such misconceptions by screening documentary and narrative films about the conflict, compelling films which illustrate the realities on the ground in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

This film series is an attempt to communicate some of this information to others in the Rochester and Western New York area by working with a broader, more diverse segment of the community. The Witness Palestine organizers include activists involved in interfaith and Palestinian solidarity work as well as local filmmakers.

Here's what they have said:

Our culture is incredibly visual. Since the invention of photography, we have accepted the unspoken rule that if you can’t see something, it doesn’t exist. This is why film is extremely effective at breaking down barriers between people by showing them that the "other" is not so different from them.

At a time when American mainstream media have metamorphosed into a bland oligopoly, documentary filmmaking has taken on the role of investigative journalism.

A similar film series in 2008 was powerful enough to make me want to go to Palestine and see for myself. I want to provide an opportunity for others to see equally powerful films.

I went through the Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank. As an American, I had the impression that I was screened more quickly than Palestinians. It's a huge imposition - a checkpoint on territory the Palestinians believe is theirs but which Israelis captured in the 1967 war.

I'm Palestinian. My dad is from Jerusalem and my mom is from Haifa. I graduated in May with my Bachelor's in International Relations. I founded Students for Justice in Palestine on my campus and still volunteer my time whenever I can. This is why I'm involved with this film series.

My life experiences brought me to this film series. What's most important is seeing people as individuals first. I'd like our audience to see Palestinians in a similar light.

This is part of my 22-year long advocacy work in the Rochester area.

Over the years I have learned that one doesn’t need to be a Palestinian or an Israeli to be involved in the conflict. I view myself as a global citizen and as such justice and human rights everywhere in the world are immensely important to me.

I'd like to eventually create my own film about Israel-Palestine.

It is not anti-Semitic to stand up for justice for the Palestinian people.

I want to highlight issues related to Palestine-Israel in a realistic and comprehensive way because these are missing from mainstream media.

Tickets available at the door or through The Little’s online ticket sales, thelittletickets.org/boxoffice/

General: $8
Student: $5

Further information is on the film series’ web site, WitnessPalestineRochester.org

*Tickets available at the Theater 2-5 box office, daily 6 - 10 p.m. and weekends 12 - 10 p.m.

The Witness Palestine Film Series is organized by an interfaith committee (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) and is sponsored by Christians Witnessing for Palestine

Upcoming films for this Series

Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Sunday, September 27
Duration: 75mins
Rating: Not Rated
Is it possible that eighteen cows present a security issue for the Israeli Defense Force? Indeed it is. They become The Wanted 18. This delightful film mixes animation of the cows with the real-life...
Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Monday, September 28
Duration: 95mins
Rating: Not Rated
In this award-winning documentary, directors Ana Nogueira and Eron Davidson take a detailed look at the apartheid analogy often used to describe the Palestinian situation. Nogueira is a white South...
Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Sunday, October 4
Duration: 58mins
Rating: Not Rated
We see life in Gaza through the eyes of two young women, Mona Samouni, and the filmmaker, Fida Qishta. Qishta returns to Gaza in 2006, following a ‘nightmare’ three-week wait at the Rafah border...
Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Monday, October 5
Duration: 93mins
Rating: Not Rated
While capturing the growing non-violent movement of young people in Palestine, this film brings a fresh perspective for understanding the realities of Palestinian life under occupation. Come travel...

Past films from this Series

Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Nov 23, 2014
Duration: 60mins
Rating: Not Rated
Filmmaker Alice Rothchild is an American Jew raised on the tragedies of the Holocaust and the dream of a Jewish homeland in Israel. Voices Across the Divide follows her personal journey as she begins...
Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Nov 17, 2014
Duration: 105mins
Rating: Not Rated
Filmmaker Lia Tarachansky is a Jew who was born in Kiev. When she was six her family moved to the Ariel settlement in the West Bank. Her mother wanted to contribute to Zionism, Lia said. Tarachansky...
Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening
Nov 16, 2014
Duration: 95mins
Rating: Not Rated
The setting is 1967 and at a refugee camp near Amman, Jordan. New refugees are arriving frequently in the aftermath of the six-day war – joining some who came after the Nakba. Ghaydaa and her 11-year...