A documentary chronicling key stages in the life of French-Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas premiered yesterday at the Marrakesh International Film Festival, where she was in competition, to a remarkable reception against the backdrop of the war. Gaza Strip.
After a screening of “Bye Bye Tiberias,” directed by the French-Algerian Lina Soulem, daughter of Hiam Abbas, the current Moroccan audience chanted “Long live Palestine” amid warm applause.
The documentary “Unlocks the Pains of the Past” reflects the difficult life choices of Hiam Abbas and the women of his family, taking as its starting point the Palestinian Nakba and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, as well as migration and exile. with that.
They lose their identity
“The stories these women tell in this film don’t just revolve around transmission from one woman to another, from one daughter to her mother, or from one mother to her daughter,” says Lena Zweilem, but they “reveal the story. People who have lost their identity.”
Hiam Abbas’s family was forcibly relocated to Deir Hanna, about 30 kilometers northwest of Tiberias, in 1948, the film recounts through several personal documents.
Born in northern Palestine in 1960, Hiam Abbas moved to London and then Paris in the 1980s to pursue a career in cinema.
Abbas played many roles in his long career, notably in “The Syrian Bride” (Eran Riglis, 2004), “Munich” (Steven Spielberg, 2005), “Paradise Now” (Hani Abu Asad, 2005) and the American series “Next.”
Lina Zweilem added, “We fight the erasure of (identity) through our stories, and these images are evidence of a denied presence,” she pointed out, “The residents of Gaza are actually children and grandchildren. Palestinian refugees, like any other human being, are trying to find their place in the world. .” world”.
The screening of the film, which will represent Palestine in the race for the 2024 Oscar for Best International Film, is scheduled to be released in French cinemas next spring, and has a special impact due to its timing parallel to the war. The Gaza Strip erupted between Israel and Hamas on October 7.
Speaking to an audience at the Marrakesh festival, which runs from the 24th of this month to the 2nd of next December, Abbas said, “I shouldn’t get too emotional, but I told myself that it’s hard not to be Palestinian.
A relaxed event with no celebrations
One of the notable events during the 20th edition of the Marrakesh International Film Festival was the cancellation of traditional screenings in Jemaa el Fna Square due to the desire to organize “a separate event without celebrations” due to the Gaza war. .
American director Martin Scorsese canceled his first appearance at the festival this week, according to the same source, for “personal reasons”.
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