Kings and Extras. Digging for a Palestinian Image

The films of the PLO Media Unit were supposed to show a self-determined image of Palestinian reality – and they went missing during the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982.

In a „road-movie“ from Palestine to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, the director Azza El-Hassan follows the contradicting and confusing clues as to the whereabouts of the lost archive. The increasingly absurd search finally leads her to a martyr’s graveyard, where the films are said to be buried – but no one really wants to dig over the whole place.

While Azza’s search for lost images leads her down various dead ends, she is confronted with new clues and starts to construct her own story.

The film reflects the situation in the Middle East – a failed revolution, the problematic relationship with the Arab neighbours, the question of a Palestinian identity today.

Azza El-Hassan shows myths, life stories and life lies, the personal effects of defeat and loss. She even brings some humour to the tragedy of the situation – to which she simultaneously feels a sense of belonging and opposition.

Details

Country of Production
Palestine / Germany

Year of Production
2004

Format
Digi Beta Pal, Beta SP Pal

Length
59 / 62 min

Director
Azza El Hassan

Production
produced by ma.ja.de. filmproduktion in co-production with Yamama, BBC and WDR, in association with Arte, YLE TV2 and 03 productions / MBC

Original Language
Arabic

Subtitles
English

Festivals / Awards

Seoul Independent DFF 2004
It’s All True Int. Documentary FF Rio de Janeiro / Sao Paulo 2005
European Short Film Biennale Ludwigsburg 2005
OxDox Oxford 2005
Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival 2005
Cinema East FFl New York 2005
VOICES FORWARD: A Festival of Israeli and Palestinian Film & Culture Toronto 2006
Euro-Arab Cinema Caravan Kairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Amman 2006
Palestine FF London 2006
Palestine FF Chicago 2006
DOK Leipzig 2006
Deutsche Dokfilmwoche Marrakesch und Rabat 2007
Houston Palestine FF 2007
Tri Continental Festival India and South Asia 2008
Documenta Madrid / Panorama of Contemporary Arab Documentaries 2009
Arabisches FF Berlin 2009
Moqavemat IFF Kerman 2010 (Special Mention)