Printable Version

Summer Film Series

Past Film Series

Co-sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown

"Voices on Palestine"
Summer 2015 Film Series 

27 May - 30 June | 6:30 p.m. 

The Jerusalem Fund and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University are pleased to present the annual summer film series highlighting recent films from and/or about Palestine that explore the social, cultural and political complexities of Palestinian life and identity.

This year we have an additional treat, with our first screening, 1913: Seeds of Conflict co-sponsored by the Institute for Palestine Studies,  and the director Ben Loeterman present for a Q/A with the audience.

All films, unless otherwise noted*, begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.  All films are screened at The Jerusalem Fund and are in English or have English subtitles.  Attendance is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.  Parking is limited.  For directions and parking information, click here.  For all other inquiries, call The Jerusalem Fund at (202) 338-1290, or email  

Wednesday | 27 May| 6:30 p.m.
1913: Seeds of Conflict
Director: Ben Loeterman (present) / 58 minutes / 2014

Friday| 29 May| 6:30 p.m.  

Villa Touma

Director: Suha Arraf / 87 minutes / 2014

Tuesday | 2 June | 6:30 p.m.  

A Night of Short Films 

Directors: Omar Robert Hamilton, Basma Al-Sharif, Kamal Aljafari / Total RT: 71 minutes / 2009-2013

Tuesday | 9 June | 6:30 p.m.
Two Documentaries: Port of Memory & The Roof
Director: Kamal Aljafari / Total RT: 116 minutes / 2009 & 2006 respectively

Tuesday | 30 June | 12:30 p.m.*

Lecture: “Palestine Solidarity: The Film Critics' Blind Spot"

Speaker: Dr. Terri Ginsberg

*Note: this is a daytime event.

Wednesday | 27 May| 6:30 p.m.

Director: Ben Loeterman  /  58 minutes / 2014

1913: Seeds of Conflict examines the divergent social forces growing in Palestine before the outbreak of World War I that caused the simultaneous rise in Jewish and Arab nationalism. Combining the perspectives of a wide range of Arab, Israeli and American scholars, the film includes information from documents previously unavailable from the Turkish Ottoman archives and largely untouched by historians. Shot on location in Beit Jamal, dramatized scenes bring many of the key figures of the era to life, with dialogue in five languages taken directly from the historical record — personal letters, government documents and newspaper accounts.

To read a review of the film, click here

The director, Ben Loeterman, will join us for a Q/A with the audience following the screening.

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Palestine Studies.

Friday | 29 May | 6:30 p.m.
Director: Suha Arraf / 57 minutes / 2012

Leaving the Catholic orphanage in Jerusalem where she was raised, eighteen-year-old Badia arrives at the home of her spinster aunts in Ramallah. Crossing the threshold, she finds a house, and three lives, frozen in time. The sisters are the last remnants of the bourgeois Christian minority that stayed on in the city after the war. In their fifties and nearly destitute, they are ruled by the eldest’s strict domestic routines and their perception of themselves as classically educated, socially proper ladies of the upper crust. Now saddled with the orphaned daughter of their late brother, the sisters decide to marry Badia off to a man from a good family. But Badia's spirited temperament rattles the tightly wound sisters, and soon secrets and historical grudges cascade through Villa Touma. | By Suha Arraf / 87 minutes / 2014

To read an interview with the director, Suha Arraf, click here

Tuesday | 2 June | 6:30 p.m.
Directors: Omar Robert Hamilton, Basma Al-Sharif, Kamal Aljafari / Total RT: 71 minutes / 2009 - 2013

Though I Know the River is Dry weaves together familiar themes of Palestine: the division of families, the role of the past and the notion of return. Evocative, elegant visuals are guided by the main character's voiceover narration, an intimate soliloquy of regret for the choices that brought him to leave his country and resolve in his return. | By Omar Robert Hamilton / 11 minutes / 2013. 

Home Movies Gaza “introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a microcosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video installation claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity." | By Basma Al-Sharif / 24 minutes / 2012.

O Persecuted turns the act of restoring Kassem Hawal’s 1974 Palestinian militant film, Our Small Houses, into a performance possible only through film — one that involves speed, bodies, and the movement of the past into a future that collides ideology with escapism. | By Basma Al-Sharif / 12 minutes / 2013.

Deep Sleep takes us on a journey through the sound waves of Gaza to travel between different sights of modern ruin, from an ancient civilization embedded in a modern civilization in ruins (Athens), to the derelict buildings of anonymous sites (Malta) and a site that is post-civilization (the Gaza Strip). Shot while under self-hypnosis. | By Basma Al-Sharif / 13 minutes / 2014.

Balconies  is an experimental meditation focusing on the deteriorating and unfinished balconies of Kamal Aljafari’s home town Ramleh, inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca's Romance Sonambulo, ‘But now I am not I, nor is my house now my house...’” | By Kamal Aljafari / 11 minutes / 2009.

Tuesday | 9 June | 6:30 p.m.
Director: Kamal Aljafari / Total RT: 116 minutes / 2009 & 2006 respectively

Port of Memory (62 minutes, 2009) & The Roof  (54 minutes, 2006):   
In Port of Memory,  Aljafari uses his family and their home as a  means to study the own of Jaffa,  once a thriving port city now part of Tel Aviv, and what happened to its original inhabitants. Through this narrative we see a portrait of what was once a bustling neighborhood, nearly emptied by fighting during the establishment of the state of Israel, now an image of official neglect. 

The Roof presents a portrait of Aljafari’s family in Ramleh and Jaffa, “guided by a nimble camera moving calmly but ceaselessly around the rooms of homes inhabited, damaged and ruined. The title refers to the roof missing from the house where Aljafari’s family resettled in 1948, a home unfinished, an incomplete construction project." 

To read an interview with the director, Kamal Aljafari, click here

Tuesday | 30 June | 12:30 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Terri Ginsberg

Film Scholar Terri Ginsberg will discuss Palestine-solidarity filmmaking,  focusing predominantly on To Live in Freedom, a 1974 documentary directed by Simon Louvish, and featuring Palestinian writer and intellectual Fouzi El-Asmar. She will examine the relationship between Zionism, European colonialism, class stratification and racism in Palestine/Israel, and will connect the dots between the establishment of the film studies discipline at NYU in the 1960s and the historical ties between the Hollywood film industry and the U.S. government. | Terri Ginsberg is a Professor of Film Studies at the American University in Cairo.

A light lunch will be served prior to the talk.

The Jerusalem Fund
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC  20037

202.338.1958 (main)
202.333.7742 (fax)