PALESTINE, UK / 2014 / Arabic / Color, B&W / Blu-ray / 12 min
Director, Editing: Basma Alsharif
Photography, Sound: Ben Russell
Producer: Palestine Film Foundation
Source: Video Data Bank www.vdb.org
The soldiers of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) prepare to face the bombers filling the skies over Palestine while civilians conceal themselves in shelters. Against a projection of Kassem Hawal’s 1974 film Our Small Houses, which was made in collaboration with the PFLP, people appear and then vanish before us like ghosts, mingled with the sound of gunfire. The voice seared into this film is an incitement and a blade brandished at the occupiers.
[Director’s Statement] O, Persecuted turns the act of restoring Kassem Hawal’s 1974 Palestinian militant film, Our Small Houses, into a performance possible only through film—one that involves speed, bodies, and the movement of the past into a future that collides ideology with escapism.
Basma Alsharif is an artist/filmmaker born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents who has lived and worked nomadically since receiving her Master of Fine Arts in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has developed her practice in the cities of Cairo, Beirut, Sharjah, Amman, the Gaza Strip, Paris, and most recently Los Angeles. Her works have shown in solo exhibitions, biennials, and film festivals internationally including the Palais de Tokyo, the New Museum, the Jerusalem Show, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Berlinale, the Sharjah Biennial, Videobrasil, and Manifesta 8. Her film we began by measuring distance (2009) was screened at YIDFF 2011.