Open Bethlehem Film Screening

September 7, 2016

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Open Bethlehem
Film screening and Q&A with Director Leila Sansour and Executive Producer Wael Kabbani
Tuesday, September 27 (7:00-9:00 pm)
Education Centre South, Room 129
87 Avenue & 113 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

PSN is pleased to co-sponsor with Development and Peace the Edmonton premiere of Open Bethlehem as part of the Edmonton Peace Festival.

Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with Director Leila Sansour and Executive Producer Wael Kabbani, followed by a discussion and an informal reception.

Everyone is welcome, admission by donation.

About the film

Film director Leila Sansour returns to Bethlehem to make a film about her home town, soon to be encircled by a wall. Armed with her camera and a dilapidated family car that keeps breaking down, Leila plans to make an epic film about a legendary town in crisis but just few months into filming her life and the film take an unexpected turn when cousin Carol, Leila’s last relative in town, persuades her to stay to start a campaign to save the city.

Open Bethlehem is a story of a homecoming to the world’s most famous little town. The film spans seven momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation. The film draws from 700 hours of original footage and some rare archive material.

While telling a personal story, the film charts the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East.


Edmonton Israeli Apartheid Week 2016

March 3, 2016

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MARCH 21 – 24, 2016 ** ALL EVENTS FREE **

Palestine Solidarity Network presents a week of presentations, film screenings, and panel discussions in solidarity with Palestinian resistance to Israeli apartheid policies, and to raise awareness about the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

All IAW 2016 events are open to everyone, and are free of charge. Directions on how to get to the venues is below.

Edmonton IAW 2016 is organized by Palestine Solidarity Network with support from Independent Jewish Voices-Alberta, the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism (ECAWAR), and the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG).

For information about Israeli Apartheid Week events around the world, visit apartheidweek.org.

MONDAY, MARCH 21

Apartheid in Palestine
Featuring Dr. Ghada Ageel
Monday, March 21 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-190
SW corner of 87 Avenue & 114 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

Despite its use by former US Presidents, South African activists, and even Israeli government officials to describe the situation faced by Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank, Occupied East Jerusalem and Israel proper (’48 Palestinians), the term “Israeli apartheid” is still routinely attacked as an unfair framing of the conflict.

Based on her newly released book, Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences, Dr. Ghada Ageel will look at the use of the term apartheid to describe the Palestinian experience under occupation, looking at both the analogy to South African apartheid and the formal definition of apartheid as enshrined in international law.

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta and a columnist for the Middle East Eye, an online news portal based in London, England. A third-generation Palestinian refugee, Ghada was born and raised in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. She holds a PhD and MA in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter and a BA in Education from the Islamic University of Gaza.

She is the contributing editor to the new book Apartheid In Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences, published in January by the University of Alberta Press. Dr. Ageel’s work has also been widely published in numerous newspapers, magazines and journals worldwide, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Hill, CNN, BBC, The Guardian, The Journal for Palestine Studies, Palestine Chronicle, and many Arabic newspapers throughout the Middle East.


TUESDAY, MARCH 22

Witnessing Apartheid: Activist Experiences in Palestine
Featuring Eoin Murray, Dawn Waring, and Carmen Jarrah
Tuesday, March 22 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-190
SW corner of 87 Avenue & 114 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

The reality of the Palestinian experience of Israeli apartheid is seen by most Canadians through the lens of mainstream media coverage and, increasingly, hasbara-driven misrepresentations of the situation in Palestine/Israel. Experiencing the plight of Palestinians first-hand offers an entirely different – and much more realistic – understanding of the conflict.

This panel will feature the voices, experiences, and reflections of three Edmonton activists – Eoin Murray, Dawn Waring, and Carmen Jarrah – who have recently returned from their own individual visits to Gaza, the West Bank, and Occupied East Jerusalem.

Carmen Taha Jarrah is a local writer who retired recently from a 35-year career writing and editing professional communications for government. She is a peace activist, local and international volunteer and has travelled widely in the Middle East, including making multiple visits to Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories.

She is the author of the book, Smuggled Stories from the Holy Land, which was published last March, and based on her experiences as a member of the Arab Jewish Women’s Peace Coalition from Edmonton and as a volunteer picking olives for Palestinians.

Dawn Waring has been to Palestine and Israel numerous times, including co-leading exposure trips to the region in 2009 and 2012. With the support of the United Church of Canada, in mid-December she returned from her third three-month term with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (2012, 2013, and 2015). She is a committed activist for peace with justice.

Eoin Murray is an Irish author who lived in Gaza during the Second Intifada. He recently returned from his latest trip to both Gaza, the West Bank, and Occupied East Jerusalem.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23

The Wanted 18
Film Screening
Wednesday, March 23 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Education Centre South, Room 129
87 Avenue & 113 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

It’s 1987, and the first Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against the Israeli occupation is spreading across the West Bank.

Residents of the village of Beit Sahour want local alternatives to Israeli goods, including milk, which they’ve been buying from an Israeli company. Activists in the town decide to create a co-operative dairy farm, and purchase 18 cows from an Israeli kibbutz and transport them to the West Bank.

And so begins the strange story of the 18 cows.

After some trial and error, the newly minted “lactivists” succeed, the population comes to depend on the “Intifada milk,” and the cows become a symbol of freedom and resistance. But soon the illegal cows, cherished by the Palestinians, were being sought by the Israeli army and declared “a threat to the State of Israel.”

Will the Wanted 18 live to milk another day?

With humour and passion, this film captures the spirit of the First Intifada through the personal experiences of those who lived it. Acclaimed Palestinian artist Amer Shomali illustrated The Wanted 18 and co-directed it with veteran Canadian filmmaker Paul Cowan, combining stop-motion animation, interviews, drawings and archival material to bring to life one of the strangest chapters in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Poignant and thought-provoking, humorous and serious, it shows the power of grassroots activism, peaceful resistance and courage.

National Film Board of Canada, 2014, 75 minutes


THURSDAY, MARCH 24

BDS, Dissidence, and the Fight for Free Speech
Featuring Nisha Nath and Dax D’Orazio
Thursday, March 24 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-190
SW corner of 87 Avenue & 114 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

On February 22 the Parliament of Canada passed by a margin of 229-51 (with 57 absences or abstentions) a Conservative motion to “reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement” and “call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

The motion was the just the latest in a string of international moves aimed at slowing the rapid growth of support for the global Palestinian-led BDS movement. More than two dozen nation, state, or local laws against BDS have been put forward in the United States since 2015, the UK recently banned publicly funded institutions from participating in BDS, and Israel itself has had an anti-BDS law in place since 2011.

But these official moves are just the most recent attack on free speech related to BDS. For years, BDS campaigns by Palestinian solidarity activists on university campuses have been stifled or silenced by anti-boycott campaigns.

This panel will explore the aims of the BDS movement, official reactions to it, the relevance of the anti-BDS backlash in the context of increasingly neoliberal and militarized spheres of power, and what the implications are for broader movements of marginalized/oppressed/dissident people’s movements and free speech.

* While PSN cannot provide childcare for this event, this event is child inclusive so children of all ages are welcome in the room during the panel.

Nisha Nath is a long-time supporter of Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton and is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Nisha is also a contributing editor with Voices-voix and the Dissent, Democracy and the Law Research Network. Her research looks at race, security, dissent and citizenship in Canada.

Dax D’Orazio is former member of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at Carleton University in Ottawa, which campaigned for the university to divest its pension fund from four companies complicit in human rights violations in Palestine. He is now a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta.


GETTING THERE

For events on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) is located on the southwest corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street on the University of Alberta campus (map). ECHA is adjacent to the Jubliee Auditorium.

The building’s north entrance is closest to Room 1-190.

Parking

Parking is available at the Jubilee car park (map) and just across the street on the northeast corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street the Education car park (map).

Transit

Take the LRT to the Health Sciences Centre Station, which is located just south of ECHA.

Take Edmonton transit to the 114 Street and 89 Avenue stop of the University of Alberta bus loop (map) and walk just south to ECHA.

Cycling

Ample bicycle parking is located near the north entrance of ECHA.

For Wednesday‘s event: Education Centre South is located on 87 Avenue at 113 Street on the University of Alberta campus (map).

Parking

Parking is available the Education car park (map), located just west of Education South on the northeast corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street.

Transit

Take the LRT or Edmonton transit to the University Station and walk one block south to Education Centre south (map).

Cycling

Ample bicycle parking is located near the east entrance of Education Centre South.


The Nakba at 67

May 15, 2015

nakba

May 15 is the day Palestinians worldwide will mark 67 years since the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”): the dispossession, forced exile, and ethnic cleansing of some 750,000 Palestinians from their land before and during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Read Ghada Ageel’s excellent article, “The Nakba 67 years on: Holding tight to our long postponed dreams.”

Attend the Edmonton commemoration dinner on May 17, hosted by the Canada Palestine Cultural Association.

Visualizing Palestine has created an interactive tool to show Palestine shrinking and Israel expanding since 1948.

For an in-depth history of the Nakba and Plan Dalet, read Ilan Pappé’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Al Jazeera in 2008 produced an award-winning series on the Nakba, which you can watch for free below.

Parts 1 & 2:

Parts 3 & 4:

Here are some key facts and figures about the Nakba from the Institute for Middle East Understanding:

General Facts & Figures

  • The Palestinian “Nakba” (“catastrophe” in Arabic) refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinian Arabs from British Mandate Palestine during Israel’s creation (1947-49).
  • The Nakba was not an unintended result of war. It was a deliberate and systematic act necessary for the creation of a Jewish majority state in historic Palestine, which was overwhelmingly Arab prior to 1948. Internally, Zionist Jewish leaders used the euphemism “transfer” when discussing plans for what today would be called ethnic cleansing.
  • The Nakba’s roots lay in the emergence of political Zionism in 19th century Europe, when some Jews, influenced by the nationalism then sweeping the continent, concluded that the remedy to centuries of anti-Semitic persecution in Europe and Russia was the creation of a nation state for Jews in Palestine and began emigrating as colonists to the Holy Land, displacing indigenous Palestinians in the process.
  • In November 1947, following the horrors of World War II and the Nazi genocide of European Jewry, the newly-created United Nations approved a plan to partition Mandate Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. It allocated approximately 55% of the land to the proposed Jewish state, although Zionist Jews owned only about 7% of the private land in Palestine and made up only about 33% of the population, a large percentage of whom were recent immigrants from Europe. The Palestinian Arab state was to be created on 42% of Mandate Palestine, with Jerusalem becoming an international city. (See here for map of the partition plan and subsequent 1949 armistice lines.)
  • Almost immediately after the partition plan was passed, violence broke out and large-scale expulsions of Palestinians began, long before the armies of neighboring Arab states became involved. When Zionist forces finished expanding, the new state of Israel comprised 78% of historic Palestine, with the remainder, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, falling under the control of Jordan and Egypt, respectively. In the 1967 War, Israel occupied the remaining 22% and began colonizing them shortly thereafter.
  • The Nakba did not end in 1948 and continues until today, in the form of Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land for settlements and for Jewish communities inside Israel, its destruction of Palestinian homes and agricultural land, revocation of residency rights , deportations, periodic brutal military assaults that result in mass civilian casualties such as the one that took place in Gaza in the summer of 2014, and the denial of the internationally recognized legal right of return of millions of stateless Palestinian refugees.

The Nakba by the Numbers

  • Between 750,000 and one million: The number of Palestinians expelled and made refugees by Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, during Israel’s creation in 1947-49.
  • Between 250,000 and 350,000: The number of Palestinians expelled from their homes by Zionist paramilitaries between the passage of the UN partition plan in November 1947 and Israel’s declaration of independence on May 15, 1948 – prior to the start of the war with neighboring Arab states.
  • Approximately 7.1 million: The number of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons as of 2009, including Nakba survivors and their descendants. They are located mostly in the occupied West Bank and neighboring Arab countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, denied their internationally recognized legal right to return to their homeland by Israel, simply because they are not Jewish.
  • Approximately 150,000 : The number of Palestinians who remained inside what became Israel’s borders in 1948, many of them internally displaced. These Palestinians (sometimes called “Israeli Arabs”) were granted Israeli citizenship but stripped of most of their land and placed under martial law until 1966. Today, there are approximately 1.6 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, who live as second-class citizens in their own homeland, subject to more than 50 laws that discriminate against them because they are not Jewish.
  • At least two dozen: The number of massacres of Palestinian civilians by Zionist and Israeli forces, which played a crucial role in spurring the mass flight of Palestinians from their homes.
  • Approximately 100: The number of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, massacred in the town of Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, by members of the Irgun and Stern Gang, pre-state Zionist terrorist organizations led by future Israeli prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, respectively.
  • More than 400: The number of Palestinian cities and towns systematically destroyed by Israeli forces or repopulated with Jews between 1948 and 1950. Most Palestinian population centers, including homes, businesses, houses of worship, and vibrant urban centers, were demolished to prevent the return of their Palestinian owners, now refugees outside of Israel’s pre-1967 borders, or internally displaced inside of them. (See here for interactive map of Palestinian population centers destroyed during Israel’s creation.)
  • Approximately 4,244,776: The number of acres of Palestinian land expropriated by Israel during and immediately following its creation in 1948.
  • Between $100 and $200 billion: The total estimated monetary loss of Palestinians dispossessed during Israel’s creation, in current US dollars.

 


Speed Sisters at Global Visions Film Festival

May 1, 2015

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Speed Sisters
Edmonton Premiere at the Global Visions Film Festival
Saturday, May 9 (Noon – 2:00 pm)
Metro Cinema (Garneau Theatre)
8712-109 Street

Buy advanced tickets to the screening or the festival.

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Despite restrictions on movement, a motor racing scene has emerged in the West Bank. The races offer a release from the pressures and uncertainties of life under military occupation. The spirited competition between cities brings spectators out in the thousands, lining rooftops and leaning over barricades to snap photos of their favorite drivers and to catch their final times on the scoreboard.

Brought together by a common desire to live life on their own terms, five determined women have joined the ranks of dozens of male drivers — competing against each other for the title, for bragging rights for their hometown, and to prove that women can compete head on with the guys.

The Speed Sisters are the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. They’re bold. They’re fearless. And they’re tearing up tracks all over Palestine.

Both intimate and action-filled, Speed Sisters captures the drive to defy all odds, leaving in its trail shattered stereotypes about gender and the Arab world.

Speed Sisters in an Hot Docs 2015 Official Selection.

Watch an interview with director Amber Fares and driver Noor Daoud on Canada AM.


Inside Israel’s Race Wars with Journalist David Sheen

February 12, 2015

Inside Israel’s Race Wars
Featuring David Sheen
Monday, March 2 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-498
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event!

Journalist David Sheen will give a lecture and slideshow about Israeli incitement to racist violence, the focus of his on-the-ground reporting for the past five years. The core of Sheen’s presentation concerns the dehumanizing discourse towards African asylum seekers, Palestinians, and other non-Jews by top Israeli political and religious leaders, and the vigilante attacks they inspire, which spiked during last summer’s assault on the Gaza Strip. The presentation will include material Sheen presented at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in Brussels, as well as some brand new information that has not previously been made public.

About David Sheen

David Sheen is an independent journalist and filmmaker originally from Toronto, Canada who now lives in Dimona, Israel. Sheen began blogging when he first moved to Israel in 1999 and later went on to work as a reporter and editor at the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. He now writes for a variety of local, regional and international outlets, and his work is quoted in publications like The New York Times and The Guardian. Sheen is currently writing a book about African immigrants to Israel and the struggles they face. His website is davidsheen.com and he tweets from @davidsheen.


The Nakba at 66

May 14, 2014

66Nakba-MHassona

Thursday, May 15 marks 66 years since the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”): the dispossession, forced exile, and ethnic cleansing of some 750,000 Palestinians from their land before and during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Sixty-six years later, Palestinians still face an ongoing Nakba as Israel continues to deny the right of return of displaced Palestinians and to illegally colonize Palestinian lands. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have now lived under a brutal Israeli military occupation for nearly 47 years, and Palestinians in Israel live under a system of apartheid – more than 50 laws enshrine their status as second-class citizens based on their ethnic and religious identity.

Below are some basic facts about the Nakba, produced by the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

To learn more about the Nakba, you can visit the websites of the Institute for Middle East Understanding and American Muslims for Palestine.

Other sites you can use to educate people about the continuing relevance of the Nakba and the importance of the Palestinian right of return for establishing a just and lasting peace are Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians, 1876-1948 from the Institute for Palestine Studies; Ongoing Nakba Education Center from BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights; and Expressions of Nakba from the US Campaign to End the Occupation.

You can also check out and share the graphic from Visualizing Palestine on An Ongoing Dispossession: The Forced Exile of the Palestinians.

You can read the latest news related to the Nakba on Mondoweiss.

For an in-depth history of the Nakba and Plan Dalet, read Ilan Pappé’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Al Jazeera in 2008 produced an award-winning series on the Nakba, which you can watch for free below.

Parts 1 & 2:

Parts 3 & 4:

Quick Facts: Israeli Independence & The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Total number of Palestinians expelled during Israel’s creation (1947-49): Between 750,000 and 1 million.

Number of Palestinians expelled prior to Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, and the ensuing war with neighboring Arab states: Between 250,000 and 350,000.

Total number of Palestinian population centers systematically destroyed during Israel’s creation (1947-49): More than 400.

Number of population centers ethnically cleansed of their Palestinian Arab inhabitants by Zionist forces prior to Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, and the ensuing war with neighboring Arab states: More than 200.

Number of documented massacres of Palestinians by Zionist and Israeli forces during Israel’s creation: At least two dozen. The most notorious took place at Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, when more than 100 Palestinian men, women, and children were murdered by Zionist paramilitaries belonging to the Stern Gang and Irgun (led by future Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, respectively). These atrocities spurred the mass flight of Palestinians, and were instrumental in facilitating the creation of a Jewish-majority state in a region in which Palestinian Arabs were the majority.

Number of Palestinians who survived the expulsions, remaining within the borders of the new Israeli state: Approximately 150,000. Although granted Israeli citizenship, they were governed by Israeli military rule until 1966, had most of their land taken from them, and continue to suffer widespread, systematic discrimination today as non-Jews living in a “Jewish state.”

The total monetary loss of Palestinians dispossessed during Israel’s creation has been estimated at between of $100 billion and $200 billion (US) in today’s dollars.

The expulsion of the majority of the Arab population of what became Israel during the state’s establishment was not an unintended consequence of war, but rather a preconceived strategy of “transfer” to ensure the creation of a Jewish majority state. (See here for more on “transfer” in early Zionist thinking.) The military blueprint for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was called Plan Dalet (or Plan D) and was formally approved by the Zionist leadership on March 10, 1948. It called for:

  • “Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.
  • “Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.”

In December 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194, which stated: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

Successive U.S. administrations supported Resolution 194 and consistently voted to affirm it until 1993, when the administration of President Bill Clinton began to refer to Palestinian refugee rights as a matter to be negotiated between the two parties in a final peace agreement, following the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The Palestinian right of return has also been recognized by major human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In 2001, Amnesty International issued a policy statement on the subject, which concluded: “Amnesty International calls for Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip, along with those of their descendants who have maintained genuine links with the area, to be able to exercise their right to return.” (See here for more on the Palestinian right of return and international law.)

A survey released in 2010 by BADIL, the Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, found the Palestinian refugee and displaced population to be approximately 7.1 million, made up of 6.6 million refugees and 427,000 internally displaced persons. Most of them live in refugee camps in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, or in neighboring countries, often only a few miles away from the homes and lands from which they were expelled.


Palestinian Oscar-nominated ‘Omar’ in Edmonton

February 28, 2014

Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad’s acclaimed new film Omar, which received a 2014 Academy Award nomination for Foreign Language film will be screened in Edmonton at Metro Cinema. Three of the screenings take place in the lead-up to Israeli Apartheid Week in Edmonton, and the final two screenings are within easy walking distance and are after the IAW events on those evenings.

Omar
Friday, March 7 (7:00 pm)
Saturday March 8 (9:15 pm)
Sunday March 9 (1:00 pm)
Wednesday March 12 (9:30 pm)
Thursday March 13 (9:00 pm)
Metro Cinema at the Garneau Theatre
(8712-109 Street)

Palestine 2013, 96 min
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad
Arabic & Hebrew with English subtitles

Ever since the concrete Separation Wall divided their West Bank town, childhood friends Omar, Amjad, and Tarek must surreptitiously climb over the wall – risking their lives – just to hang out. Omar has an additional motive for dodging the punishing watch of the Israeli military and their bullets: he is in love with Nadia, Tarek’s younger sister. When Rami, an Israeli military intelligence officer investigating the killing of an officer posted at a checkpoint, becomes aware of Omar’s love for Nadia (a secret kept from her brother), he draws Omar into the hell of conflicted loyalties. Masterfully paced, the film boasts compelling performances from its young cast … Omar is set to become an Arab noir classic. (TIFF)

Read about Omar and Hany Abut-Assad at the Electronic Intifada.