Kings and extras: digging for a Palestinian image
Running time: 60 minutes
Director Azza El Hassan chronicles her journey on the trail of films made by the PLO Media which went missing during the Israeli invasion of in Beirut in 1982. The films were supposed to show a self-determined image of Palestinians from the moment of civilian expulsion in 1967 to PLO activity in Lebanon continuing until 1982. Through the narratives of individuals who El Hassan feels can assist in her search, the film touches on several aspects of contemporary Palestinian life. She travels through Syria, Jordan and Lebanon searching for clues as to where the lost archive might be. The increasingly absurd search leads her to where the films are said to be buried – but no one wants to dig them up.
The film reflects the situation in the Middle East; a failed revolution, the problematic relationship with the Arab neighbours and the question of a Palestinian identity today.
Azza El-Hassan is an award-winning Palestinian filmmaker. Since launching her film career in Ramallah, El-Hassan has now become one of Palestine’s most promising female directors. She has produced several works all of which reflect the different stages of her journey exploring her complex relationship with her Palestinian identity. Her films include Always Look them in the Eyes (2007), Kings & Extras (2004), 3cm Less (2003), News Time(2001), The Place (2000), Sinbad is a She (1999), A Title Deed from Moses (1998) and Arab Women Speak Out (1996).
Kings and Extras will screen as part of @70: Celebration of Contemporary Palestinian Culture, taking place at RADA Studios, Chenies Street, London from the 14-20 May, a week-long festival of theatre, dance, films and talks commemorating the Palestinian experience of dispossession and loss of a homeland. For more information about the festival visit www.70palestine.com