Rashid Masharawi • Director
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Why did you choose this tender, yet ironic approach of a tragic situation?
RM: I have already made about twenty movies about Palestine, from many different angles. This time, as I myself became a refugee and could not go back to my home in Ramallah, I felt like something new. Intifada after Intifada, our History has been repeating itself way too much in the past fifty years, and I wanted to explain, especially to non-Arabs, why we seem to have run out of stories. I took an ironic angle because I wanted to show that we still have distance; even if everybody suffers from the situation, we still laugh, tell jokes, and live.
You obviously hope Palestinians can one day be united again and at the same time, you present Palestine as a Utopia. Isn't there a contradiction there?
RM:There are clearly two maps of Palestine, a historical one, embellished by memories, and a humanitarian ones, which shows how divided our nation is now. Since 1948, the many refugees have evolved in different ways. Still, Palestine used to be a beautiful country, with orange trees and the sea and wonderful cities, and however divided our nation can be, it does not keep us from hoping...
The film has been received with great enthusiasm for its premiere here in Venice. After all these interviews, what is the question no one has asked yet which you would like to answer?
RM: This one! Well, no one has asked, 'why cinema?' Sure, it is impossible to be a Palestinian director and not be political, but I have made lots of experimental films about cinema itself, about art and exhibitions. I am first and foremost a filmmaker.