Fri 7 July 2017, 8.30pm
Screening and Q&A with Mohanad Yacubi
Dir. Mohanad Yaqubi
Palestine – France – Qatar – Lebanon, 2016 (80 mins)
10% off 2 screenings
15% off 3 or more screenings
for Shubbak films at the Barbican
London, EC27 8SE
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Image construction and representation is at the heart of Yaqubi’s directorial debut, which reflects on the Palestinian people’s struggle to produce an image on their own terms in the 60s and 70s, with the establishment of the Palestine Film Unit as part of the PLO.
Told through rarely seen footage from archives across the world, Off Frame fills a gap in collective memory from a distinctly and seldom seen Palestinian perspective. In doing so, Yacubi deftly brings the past into dialogue with the present, interrogating both the lived reality and image of Palestine that is vehicled today.
“The passion and craftsmanship of militant cinema defies conventional precepts of film production…. It still embodies a relevant alternative model of production that points to a fundamental question: why do we make films? In the case of Palestinians, 1948 was not only their year of Nakba but it was also the year when they started to become invisible to the eyes of the world. The world, or rather Israel and the West, went on behaving as if we did not exist. We were absent from public consciousness, media and the press. From the outset, our struggle for survival would clearly be linked to our visibility, with being seen and recognised,” Yacubi notes.
All the more relevant for the many anniversaries in Palestine’s history that 2017 marks, Off Frame an absorbing and necessary document. “When I watch the images that these filmmakers captured and montaged, and I listen to their own words of hope and desire for a better future, knowing what they understood as the future is the present I live in today, is very hard. They made profoundly subversive films, and I can only aspire that their defiance, courage, urgency and inventiveness remain alive and compel our consciousness today.”
Mohanad Yaqubi’s has produced award winning documentaries and fiction including Infiltrators (by Khaled Jarrar), Though I Know the River is Dry (by Omar R. Hamilton) and Suspended Time, an anthology of 9 films reflecting on 20 years since the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords.
Shubbak’s film programme is presented in partnership with the Arab Fund for Art and Culture – AFAC and the Barbican, with additional support from Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, British Council and Molinare.