One of the joys of SIFF is being exposed to a variety of films written and produced by non-Hollywood filmmakers. These films offer a unique opportunity to look into the minds and hearts of those who do not have the same interests as American media artists…and the market that largely dictates what gets made and released. Palestine Stereo and Walesa: Man of Hope have the powerful voice of their respective nations and both have showtimes this Saturday, June 7.
Palestine Stereo, by Palestinian director Rashid Mashawari, shines a light on the challenges of daily life in Palestine under Israeli Occupation through the personal struggle of two brothers Stereo and Sami, who are attempting to leave their homeland for a new life in Canada. They struggle to be resilient in the midst of family losses and a barrage of empty promises from local political leaders. Media portrayals of the conflict in Gaza and surrounding areas are often extremely partisan and readily obscure the humanity of people on the ground facing these difficulties. News audiences are often left with a fatiguing sense of futility and little else. The warm and loving tone of this film and an ending that leaves one wanting more may come as a surprise to many.
Palestine Stereo shows at the Harvard Exit Theatre on Capitol Hill (807 E Roy St) at 9:45 PM, June 7, 2014
Walesa: Man of Hope
Walesa: Man of Hope by legendary Polish filmmaker Andrej Wadja—known for his early films such as Ashes and Diamonds and Kanal—tells the story of Lech Walesa, a working man who led the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s and was eventually awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. His practical leadership and values helped weaken and eventually overthrow Communist rule in Poland, but not without cost. Man of Hope illustrates Walesa’s life through his difficult call to leadership, his flaws and weaknesses, but also his unshakable certainty that every man deserves freedom and a right to a decent life.
Walesa: Man of Hope shows at the Egyptian Theatre on Capitol Hill (801 E Pine Street) at 1:30 PM, June 7, 2014