This two-part program is an attempt to show the hardships and the human perspective through artistic, in this case cinematic, practices during the extremely difficult times in Palestine and Israel. In the territories of Palestine and Israel, whose modern history is marked by conflict and a perpetual and self-reproducing history of trauma and violence, this becomes a key to understanding the other and finding common ground in a particularly polarized political environment.

In order to better understand these dynamics, we must allow ourselves to learn and ask questions in the face of the newly erupted conflict. Can we condemn violence and at the same time explore its genesis? Is it possible to see the context and at the same time condemn the actual crimes without relativizing them? And is it possible to find what unites us in an increasingly polarized world? These questions are echoed in philosopher Judith Butler’s recent response to the situation in the region, where she says that in a world that seems hopeless, we should strive for a different political morality “that takes time, a patient and courageous way of learning and naming, so that we can accompany moral condemnation with moral vision.[2]

The search for a moral vision is linked to the image of utopia. In the face of hopelessness, the utopian image makes it possible to imagine the continuation of life and the end of violence. If we follow Walter Benjamin, whose fragment A Different Utopian Will the title of this program refers to, the radical utopian imagination that would allow us to grasp and discover new forms of life can only be born where we salvage the particularities of the past. In order to allow ourselves to imagine the future we want, both here and in distant places, we must understand the history of violence, and this knowledge in no way relativizes the crimes of the present.

Finally, the artistic lens allows us to see beyond our faction, beyond the binary logic and rhetoric of conflict. The aesthetic experience sheds a different light on these issues, and this gives way to a more critical and sensitive relationship with history and the present, and to the creation of discourses in which we find ways to communicate by wanting to understand and to listen, as well as to resist the ruthless point of view. And to do this, we let the works of the artists of the region speak.

The first part of the cycle (December 2) invites you to get acquainted with the works of artists representing the Palestinian region. It is an attempt to deepen the context of everyday life in the region, where we see a political asymmetry and, as a result, people trying to build their lives, to overcome the limits imposed on them, and to realize their dreams, despite the state of constant separation. It is also a study of memory and the future, where one tries to find reconciliation.

The second part (December 9) will be devoted to the screening of a three-part film (Route 181, Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel), in which we will delve into the complexities of history and the present; it is a journey of two Israeli filmmakers with two different experiences, traditions and backgrounds, through the ever-shifting borders, memories and hopes. They search for a common ground and seemingly lost possibilities of reconciliation while trying to grasp different visions, what is forgotten and, most importantly, trying to listen.



2 December, 5 PM
Movies in Arabic with English subtitles

Gaza Calling (2012)
Director: Nahed Awwad
Documentary, 65 min.

The film is a sensitive story of two Palestinian families facing political bureaucracy and obstacles because of their identity and geographical circumstances. In this work, political oppression and discussion in different offices are juxtaposed with phone calls and the emotions of everyday life. The film is a subtle exposition of Israel’s denial of freedom of movement to the Gazans; they are unable to enter the West Bank regardless of where they lived before and how complicated their life stories may be.


One More Jump (2019)
Director: Emanuele Gerosa
Documentary, 83 min.

The main protagonists of the film are Jehad and Abdallah, the founders of the Gaza parkour team. Their ambitions constantly bump up against identity and reality in isolated Gaza, and the parkour itself becomes a metaphor for crossing boundaries and walls. Eventually, they are faced with dilemmas that are determined by both external circumstances and their own choices. The tensions in the region cause even friends who have grown up in the same context to split, thus highlighting political and everyday problems.


Shujayya (2016)
Director: Mohammed Almughanni
Documentary, 20 min.

This film tells the story of a neighborhood in Gaza where, after the bombings, the inhabitants lose their loved ones, experience and remember the events, and try to come to terms with the situation. The film captures the present and its relationship with memory and the attempt to continue living.


Ouroboros (2017)
Director: Basma Alsharif
Experimental film, 77 min.

Ouroboros by Basma Alsharif is a visual journey through the Gaza Strip, inspired by the idea of enduring repetition. Ouroboros is a symbol of a snake eating its own tail, a symbol that has entered Western cultures from the East and represents the endless, ever-renewing cycle of life. The film also becomes a poetic response that seeks to invert the constantly represented and repeated experience of trauma. Its images evoke contemplation of the sublime, mythological imagery, and encourage thinking of a motion that transcends conflict and pain.


9 December, 5 PM.
The film is in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles

Route 181, Fragments of a Journey in Palestine–Israel (2003)
Directors: Eyal Sivan, Michel Khleifi
Documentary, 272 min. (three parts)

The film was made during the second intifada, which claimed the lives of four thousand Palestinians, and a hundred Israelis. The film seems to be particularly relevant today—in the face of an unresolved crisis and the new outbreak of violence, the filmmakers choose to seek answers by travelling through land that, in their own way, reflect the intersections of histories, narratives, and geographies. It is also a testimony to the history of the region, the wars and the shifting boundaries that the speakers draw or encounter through different means, as well as different memory regimes that determine their relationship to the region and place. Each of the three parts of the film follows a different part of Route 181—the South from Ashdod to Gaza, the Centre from Lod to Jerusalem, and the North, from the then new dividing wall to the Lebanese border.

[1] Butler, Judith. “The Compass of Mourning”. London Review of Books, October 13, 2023.

[2] Ibid.