It’s that golden time of year: when the daylight lingers past 9:30 PM, and SIFF is here! SIFF: Seattle International Film Festival. The largest film fest on this continent–that no one has ever heard of. There are many, many films in this fest, both good and bad. The decision as to what movies to see has racked me with angst. What if I miss a unique opportunity to ask a director a Q? What if the movie will never wash ashore on our continent again?
Luckily there are critics to help me decide what to see. Many of the films have already opened in other countries and played in previous international fests, like those of Toronto and Venice.
My first decision and the review that I found. Shall I watch this movie?
Plot: A newlywed Palestinian woman picks up a hitchhiker who later turns out to be involved in a terrorist bombing. Although she had no idea what the boy was about to do, she is jailed for being complicit in the crime. She is pregnant and the baby is born in jail. The movie takes place during a turbulent era in that region (as if there are non-turbulent times), the 1980s.
Middle East Eye
Review by unknown critic
Spoilers skimmable? No. Plain and simple.
Bottom Line: It is excellent.
Palestinian actors play all of the characters, both Israeli and Palestinian. Syrian refugees were extras in the movie–playing prisoners.
The movie was filmed in an old Jordanian prison; most actors had been in jail themselves, or are connected to someone who was. It was painful for them to film and sounds painfully sad for the audience to watch.
What is the Middle East Eye?
It is an online news source that professes to tell unbiased news from the Middle East.
Fascinating: I found a list of five movies on this site that “will help you understand the Modern Arab World.”
An intimate view of the Syrian Uprising. One such film is Silvered Water, which you can find on youtube. It is comprised solely of videos that eyewitnesses filmed with their cell phones and anonymously uploaded to social media, some with narration.
Defiance in Art. The article points out that Silvered Water is a “video archive” as well as “a form of defiance–searching for cinematic beauty in blurry mobile phone images as a resistance to tyranny and death.”