Women filmmakers from Palestine portray life amid pandemic

The Shashat Woman Cinema organization released seven short films made by up-and-coming women from Palestine. They address the conundrums of social distancing from their homes in the West Bank, Gaza, the United States, and Turkey.

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São Paulo – Seven young female Palestinian filmmakers made short documentaries portraying their routines of self-isolating amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is from Shashat Woman Cinema, an NGO in Palestine whose work includes supporting up-and-coming filmmakers.

The “Covid 20” project features documentaries filmed using cell phone cameras. The seven short films clock in at a combined 18:56 minutes and are available together on YouTube. Two of the directors are based in Gaza and three of them live in the West Bank. One is a student in the United States, and the other one is trying to leave Turkey for Palestine.

Fidaa Ataya’s “Emptiness” portrays her in quarantine in New Hampshire, USA. She expresses an utter emptiness and misses her mother. In “Appointment,” Athar Jadili hesitates to take little girl to a clinic for a blood test. She finally decides to go, only to find the place closed.

“All Routine” sees Amjaad Habareeh afraid to become like a computer. All she does is send out and take in information, feelingless and concerned only with surviving. Maysa Alshaer’s “When is the Wedding!” finds the filmmaker unable to perform even the simplest of tasks relating to her wedding, like choosing her dress or planning for the honeymoon. She ultimately questions: “Is the wedding going to be or not?”

In Ala Desoki’s “Messages,” night and day mesh into one. Turkey-based Feda Naser’s “Impossible Visit” sees her anxious to visit her family back home with her young boy (pictured), whose only choice is to look at the world through the window.

“In the Moment,” by Dina Amin, is the film that features the director’s face the most. She realized that before quarantine began, she was living life like a marathon. Self-isolating taught her a lesson on the value of life and family.

“Covid 20” is available on YouTube (see below). The films are spoken in Arabic and subtitled in English. Production was supported by the Feminist Peace Organization (CFD).

*With information from the Palestinian News & Info Agency (Wafa).

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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