Film Events at Matrix East Research Lab in May 2010

Next week, being Palestine Nakba week, Matrix East Research Lab will host two film events related to Middle Eastern topics:

On Monday, May 10th, at 14:00
At Matrix East Research Lab, Eeat Building 1.37, Dockland Campus, University of East London

Eyal Sivan will show his new film

Directed by | Eyal Sivan
Genre: documentary | Length: 86mins | Year of production: 2009

Jaffa: The Orange’s Clockwork is the new film by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Eyal Sivan (Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (with Michel Khleifi), The Specialist, Izkor: Slaves of Memory). The film is a political essay excavating the entwined visual and political histories of that famous citrus fruit originating in Palestine and known worldwide as the “Jaffa Orange”. While this orange has been translated into a symbol of the Zionist enterprise and even the state of Israel, for Palestinians it remains a powerful symbol of the loss and destruction of their homeland. By exploring the visual history of this brand, the film reflects on western fantasies related to the ‘Orient’ and ‘Holy Land’. It asks after the brand’s attachment to the state of Israel and unveils an untold story of what was once a communal symbol and industry shared by Arabs and Jews in Palestine. Visually captivating and politically bold, Sivan’s latest weaves a tapestry of archival material and interviews, ultimately asking what the Jaffa Orange’s past might offer for the future in Palestine/Israel.  Source : Palestine film festival foundation

On Thursday, May 13th, at 17:00
At Matrix East Research Lab, East Building 1.37 Dockland Campus, University of East London

Samira Makhmalbaf and Agheleh Farahmand filming At Five in the Afternoon

Prof Haim Bresheeth will speak of Two Theses on the Afghan Woman: Samira and Hana Makhmalbaf Filming Agheleh Farahmand

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created a huge number of refugees, or as the UN now wishes them to called, internally displaced persons. Those two terrifying upheavals have not yet been attended to by many filmmakers – the Iraqi one is yet to be represented on film, and the Afghani one has indeed been so represented, but not by an Afghani filmmaker.

The Makhmalbaf sisters on set with Agheleh Farahmand, during the shooting of Joy of Madness

The appearance, in 2003, at the London International film festival, of two films made by two sisters of the Makhmalbaf famous cinematic clan, Thec so-called Makhmalbaf Film House, have marked another first for this unusual group. “At Five in the Afternoon”, a feminist feature film shot in Afghanistan a short time after the Allies invasion, by the elder sister Samira, has been closely followed by “Joy of Madness”, a feature length documentary by her 13 year old sister, Hanna. That Hanna’s film was a ‘making of’ film of her sister’s movie production, does not begin to describe it. At the heart of both films stands the figure of the main lead of the feature, who is the central character of both. The struggle between the temperamental director and her intended star, ending in the agreement to participate, is presenting us with a complex picture of power relations and negotiation, between the darling of festival circles, Samira, and her pennyless, but astute and independent young teacher from Afghanistan. Joy of Madness carries a genuine and disturbing message of the colonial power relations between the three women, and the acid test of their different feminist agendas.

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