Festival promises Palestinian viewpoint

By Kyle Francis

It looks as if October is shaping up to be the month of film festivals centered around the Middle East conflict. Following hot on the heels of the Israeli Film Festival comes the Canada Palestinian Film Festival, sponsored by CanPalNetCalgary.

Proclaiming itself to “offer Canadians with a rare opportunity to see first-hand the humanity of a people falsely equated with terrorism,” the Palestinian Film Festival shows at least two films a night for three nights, right here on campus.

If war is a topic that turns your stomach, never fear, for the film festival’s focus is on Palestinian culture, rather than the monstrous bombings and murders depicted on television.

“The film festival is trying to depict the [Palestinian] culture more than anything else,” said President of the Palestinian Students’ Organization Noor Abu Shama’a. “Palestinians are poorly portrayed by the media. On the news, if you hear the word ‘Palestinian’ its usually closely followed by the word ‘terrorist’. I think it’s the job of those who are living outside of Palestine to show people that Palestinians are not like the terrorists they see on TV.”

Although many of the films focus on Palestinian culture rather than their conflict with the Israelis, Shama’a assures us that news junkies will get their fill.

“Those who are interested in politics, or even those who follow the US elections should come out, as the American foreign policy has an effect on what goes on there,” said Shama’a, implying that he believes the films are good for anyone to see, not just those with an active interest in middle east culture or politics.

With the renewed fervor for politics that many people seem to be infected with, politically minded film festivals seem to be more common. With the Israeli Film Festival just wrapping up, the Palestinian Film Festival is the next logical step. For news junkies and cinemaphiles alike, the Palestinian Film Festival is sure to please.

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