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Private (2012)

Thursday, October 4, 2012, 6:45 – 9:30 p.m.

Location: The Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue Rochester NY ~ Tickets $8 from The Little box office

Film run time: 1:30 ~ Style: narrative ~ Languages: English, subtitles for the parts in Arabic and Hebrew ~ Format: video projection

The plot is an allegory about the Palestinian situation. A house in the West Bank, between a Palestinian village and a Jewish settlement, stands for the occupied territories.

A Palestinian family lives in the house — Mohammad and Samia with their three sons (Jamal, Yousef, and Karim) and two daughters (Miram and Nada).

Based on a true story, the action takes place over about a week’s time. One night, Israeli soldiers invade the house to use as a base. The leader uses the letters A, B, and C to divide the house into increasingly no-go areas, just as the West Bank is similarly divided. The family is confined to the living room at night; is allowed into the rest of the ground floor by day when the Israelis permit it; upstairs is always off limits.

Our film committee sees this narrative as emphasizing the continuing Palestinian frustration with the long occupation interspersed with occasional glimmers of hope.


Nabil AbuGharbieh 
panelist Nabil AbuGharbieh
Nabil AbuGharbieh

Nabil AbuGharbieh is a Palestinian American born in Hebron. He grew up in post-1948 Jerusalem where he experienced life under Jordanian rule, and subsequently, Israeli occupation. He came to the U.S. in 1975 were he went to school and received a PhD in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught Mechanical Engineering at the University of Jordan and has been living and working in the U.S. since 1990. Nabil is active in local interfaith programs including those addressing solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Kathleen Kern 

Since 1995, Kathleen Kern has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron, West Bank. The teams accompany Palestinians who are nonviolently resisting the Israeli government’s control of their lives; they network with Israeli and international groups who are also nonviolently working to end the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. She is the author of numerous books, including As Resident Aliens: Christian Peacemaker Teams in the West Bank, 1995-2005, which details the work of CPT in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and We Are the Pharisees, which examines how Christians have twisted Jesus’ teachings to promote anti-Semitism. Her farcical novel, Where Such Unmaking Reigns, is based on her experiences working with CPT in Hebron. It was selected as a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize in 2002.

Yonathan Shapir 
panelist Yonathan Shapir
Yonathan Shapir

Yonathan Shapir was born in 1946 in Kibbutz Nachshonim, only two miles from the green line (Israel/Jordan border until 1967 and Israel/occupied West Bank border since 1967). He served in the Israeli military as an officer in the 1960s and 1970s. He participated in the founding meeting of the Tel Aviv branch of Peace Now in 1977 and continued to be active in the peace movement. He is currently active in J Street and Move to Amend. He is a professor of Theoretical Physics, Chemical Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Rochester.