When I Saw You

When I Saw You (2014)

Sunday, November 16, 2:00 p.m.

Location: The Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue, Rochester NY ~ Tickets WPFS pass or $8 student, $10 others from The Little box office

Film run time: 1 hour 38 minutes ~ Style: narrative ~ Languages: In Arabic with English subtitles. Sign language interpreter provided for the introduction before and discussion after the film ~ Format: video projection from DVD ~ Year released: 2012

The setting is 1967 and at a refugee camp near Amman, Jordan. New refugees are arriving frequently in the aftermath of the six-day war – joining some who came after the Nakba. Ghaydaa and her 11-year-old son Tarek are among the new arrivals. They don’t know what happened to their husband/father; perhaps he was killed in the fighting.

Tarek is a precocious child; he has his schoolwork aced, sometimes to the chagrin of his teacher. Tarek doesn’t understand why they can’t go back home and find his father and a teacher he liked better. “We came on foot, why can’t we go back on foot?”

He sets out alone and comes across a fedayee militia, which takes him under their care. They’re training in the woods, using some Russian-supplied weapons, in hopes of fighting to return to Palestine.

The story explores Palestinian exiles’ longing to return home.

When I Saw You is cinematic poetry. Beautiful, groundbreaking and deeply, deeply moving.”

— The Huffington Post


Annemarie Jacir
Annemarie Jacir

Director of When I Saw You. Many in our audience will remember our 2012 screening of Jacir’s first feature film “Salt of This Sea.”

Annemarie Jacir has been working in independent film since 1994 and has written, directed, and produced six films. She has taught courses at Columbia, Bethlehem, and Birzeit Universities. She also works as a freelance editor and cinematographer.

Jacir lived in Saudi Arabia until the age of sixteen and then received her formal education in the United States. She worked as a telephone operator, radio DJ, swimming instructor, English tutor, building sets for theater, news camerawoman, museum researcher, writing and directing plays, and on film sets. She worked in the film industry in Los Angeles before deciding to focus more on writing and directing herself, and for that reason moved to New York to obtain a Masters degree in Film.

Jacir is chief curator and co-founder of the groundbreaking Dreams of a Nation Palestinian cinema project, dedicated to the promotion of Palestinian cinema. In 2003, she organized and curated the largest traveling film festival in Palestine, which included the screening of archival Palestinian films from Revolution Cinema, screening for the first time on Palestinian soil.