Houston Palestine Film Festival

Sharing the stories of Palestinians through cinema


Houston Palestine Film Festival
500 Crawford Street Apt 542
Houston, TX 77002

13th Annual Houston Palestine Film Festival

Friday, April 26 - 7:00 PM | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH Tickets
Beyond the Frontlines: Tales of Resistance and Resilience from Palestine (113 min) | Alexandra Dols

Beyond the Frontlines takes us on a journey both within our own minds and on the roads of Palestine, led by Palestinian psychiatrist and writer Dr. Samah Jabr. An heiress to anticolonial psychiatrist Dr. Frantz Fanon, she exposes the psychological strategies of the Israeli occupation and their consequences, and the ways in which Palestinians have learned to cope.

In this multi-voiced movie, interviews and columns are intertwined together with poetic escapes suggesting the invisible dimension of Palestinian streets and landscapes. From this fragmented Palestine, women and men holding multiple identities share their stories of resistance and resilience. For everyday colonization does not only involve occupying land, homes, the sky or water. It does not seek to impose its rule through weapons only; it molds the minds as well, beyond the frontlines...

Director Alexandra Dols and psychiatrist and writer Dr. Samah Jabr will answer questions from the audience following the screening.


Saturday, April 27 - 7:00 PM | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH Tickets
CAPERNAUM (150 min) | Nadine Labaki

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, CAPERNAUM (“Chaos”), is a new film by Nadine Labaki about the journey of a clever, gutsy 12-year-old boy, Zain, who survives the dangers of the city streets by his wits. He flees his parents and to assert his rights, takes them to court suing them for the “crime” of giving him life.

CAPERNAUM was made with a cast of non-professionals playing characters whose lives closely parallel their own. Following her script, Labaki placed her performers in scenes and asked them to react spontaneously with their own words and gestures. When the non-actors’s instincts diverged from the written script, Labaki adapted the screenplay to follow them – resulting in a neo-realism that has been compared to that of De Sica and Rossellini. Labaki creates a deft portrait of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy that ensnarls its subjects with regulations that make their difficult lives nearly impossible. Today, the two leads in the film live in Norway and France.

While steeped in the quiet routines of ordinary people, CAPERNAUM is a film with an expansive palette: without warning it can ignite with emotional intensity, surprise with unexpected tenderness, and inspire with flashes of poetic imagery. Although it is set in the depths of a society’s systematic inhumanity, CAPERNAUM is ultimately a hopeful film that stirs the heart as deeply as it cries out for action.


Friday, May 3 - 7:00 PM | Rice Media Center, Houston (Tickets will be sold at the door) 
Memory of the Land (13 min) | Samira Badran Mafak (Screwdriver) (108 min) | Bassam Jarbawi

After fifteen years of imprisonment, Ziad struggles to adjust to modern Palestinian life as the hero everyone hails him to be. Unable to distinguish reality from hallucination he unravels and forces himself to go back to where it all began.


Saturday, May 4 - 5:00 PM | Rice Media Center, Houston (Tickets will be sold at the door) 
The Living of the Pigeons (16 min) | Baha Abu Shanab Naila and the Uprising (76 min) | Julia Bacha

When a nation-wide uprising breaks out in 1987, a woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three, joining a clandestine network of women in a movement that forces the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time.

Naila and the Uprising chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh whose story weaves through the most vibrant, nonviolent mobilization in Palestinian history – the First Intifada in the late 1980s.

“We knew we wanted to bring this story to light by producing a documentary that could provide insight and wisdom from the veteran women activists of the First Intifada to today’s rising leaders. We felt it was crucial to provide a more holistic account of that time, illuminating how Palestinians have historically engaged in unarmed resistance efforts, underscoring the power of civil society in creating change and elevating the role of women in movement building.” Julia Bacha (2017)


Saturday, May 4 - 7:00 PM | Rice Media Center, Houston (Tickets will be sold at the door) 
Congratulations for the New Wall Paint (7 min) | Wisam Al Jafari Imprisoning a Generation (50 min) | Zelda Edmunds

Imprisoning a Generation is a documentary film following the stories of four young Palestinians who have been detained and imprisoned under the Israeli military and political systems. Their perspectives, along with the voices of their families, combine to form a lens into the entangled structures of oppression that expand well beyond the prison walls.

Director Zelda Edmunds will answer questions from the audience following the screening.

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Houston Palestine Film Festival 2019