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Keyholes: Short Films from Israel/Palestine

In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain (2015)

Funny, poignant, heartbreaking, and consistently stunning, these shorts allow us keyhole glimpses into a world outside expected Israeli and Palestinian narratives. A rare chance to experience films not often seen for both political and social reasons (1hour 29 min).  Introduced and Guest Curated by Olga Gershenson (UMass).

Arabic Friday
2019 | 4 minutes, narrative
Dir. Gal Rosenbluth, Israel
Naomi, who is Israeli, and Marwan, who is Palestinian, are a couple that communicate in Hebrew. When they decide to speak solely Arabic on Fridays, their new routine upends their communication, and a balance of power.



The Day My Father Dies
2017 | 15 minutes, narrative
Dir. Nayef Hammoud, Israel
Salah, a drama student in Paris, heads home to Haifa to work on a play based on a eulogy for his father.

Girl on a Bike
2019 | 9 minutes, narrative
Dir. Dekra Zohir Makalda, Israel
A young Muslim woman from a small town persists with her passion for cycling, despite it being deemed unacceptable by her community and family.

2019 | 15 minutes, narrative
Dir. Shady Srour, Israel/Germany
Ziad, a Palestinian day laborer, is denied entry into Israel. Having promised his daughter meat for dinner and not wanting to return home empty-handed, he resorts to a solution, that is both resourceful and heartbreaking. 

The Shooter
2007, 8 min, narrative
Dir. Ihab Jadallah, Palestine 
Palestine is occupied by the international media. It is being staged by the international media for sensational newscasts and Palestinians have become "performers" of dramatic international evening newscasts. The Shooter challenges this casting.

Nation Estate
2012, 9 min, narrative
Dir. Larissa Sansour, Palestine/Denmark 
Taking a dystopian, but humorous approach to the deadlock in the Middle East, the film entertains a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood: one colossal skyscraper housing the entire Palestinian population.

In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain 
2015, 29 min, narrative
Dir. Larissa Sansour, Palestine/UK/Denmark/Qatar
A narrative resistance group makes underground deposits of elaborate porcelain, suggested to belong to an entirely fictional civilization. Their aim is to influence history and support future claims to their vanishing lands. (website)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies and by the Psychology of Peace and Violence program.

Introduced and Guest Curated By

Olga Gershenson is Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies and of Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Professor Gershenson is a multi-disciplinary scholar with interests at the intersection of culture, history, and film. Her most recent book is “The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe” (2013). She is now writing a book on Israeli horror films.