Sunday, September 24, 2:00 p.m.
The Little Theatre, #5
240 East Ave Rochester, NY 14604
Writer/Director: Najwa Najjar
Film Type & Length: Narrative feature film, 98 min.
Production companies: Ustura Films, AARC, MACT Films, Oktober Films
Panelist: Lead character Khaled Abol Naga will join us via Skype
The film is based on events in 2002 that took place in the valley between Nablus and Ramallah which gives the film its name. Ten years after being hospitalized during opening scenes of confusion, which the rest of the film unpacks, water engineer Tareq (Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga) emerges from an Israeli prison in the West Bank. He returns to his family home in search of his missing wife and daughter. He soon finds that his wife is dead, and he is determined to find if his daughter is alive. Through flashbacks, the audience learns that his character is harboring a dark secret.
Najjar is using this psychological thriller to explore a range of themes which are at once highly specific — the particular social conditions at work in a territory under occupation, and how such conditions affect people — and universal, since Najjar, like other members of the current crop of Palestinian film makers, is more interested in those people than she is in creating political propaganda. None of the characters are mere ideological mouthpieces, and nobody is all sinner or saint, Tareq least of all. One of Najjar’s aims is to make audiences reflect upon the fine line separating resistance from terrorism.