BANGALORE: Continuing their campaign against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Women in Black, a multi-national group, will screen two Palestinian films on September 20.
The shows are slated at Feroze's White Manor on Infantry Road.
A world-wide movement of women and men against war, Women in Black is currently focusing on the Israel-Palestine issue.
"The organisation was launched a few years ago when Israeli and Palestinian women joined hands to protest against the war. The protest still continues and we're taking the discussion forward here as well," says Corrine Kumar, who heads the movement in Bangalore.
Films From Palestine is another thread being added to a series of conversations, which will question the silence of the world towards human rights violations. "Instead of opting for a full-blown film-festival, we preferred to do these screenings in an intimate setting, so that people can come forward and raise their thoughts and have a meaningful discussion," says Corrine Kumar.
She thinks it is important to question India's stand on the issue.
"There was a time when relations between India and Palestine were very close. I was attending a conference in Tunisia recently. A Palestinian ambassador spotted me, donned in a sari, and recognised me as an Indian.
He came over to me and reminded me of the time when Gandhi had such close ties with the country and that India was one of the first countries where Palestine had set up an office. Now he feels that the Indian government doesn't even acknowledge their plight and suffering," she recalls. She also condemned India's pro-Israel policy, stating that it's the markets and commercial interests that's forcing India to look the other way, while Palestine is faced with genocide.
Women in Black will use films, testimonies, stories and poetry from Palestine to understand the context of the ongoing war. All the screenings will then be followed by a discussion.
"Women in Black was set up in India in response to the razing of the Babri Masjid mosque in 1992 and the communal riots that broke out in response. A bunch of us from Vimochana discussed this issue, we realised there was a need for a public sign of protest against these issues," adds Corrine. From then on, Women in Black-India has stood in protest against myriad wars against women within homes and outside, against nuclearisation of nation states, against cultural nationalism, linguistic chauvinism, and against US wars of occupation.
The two films that are going to be screened are Jenin Jenin, directed and produced by Palestinian actor and director Mohamed Bakri; and Colour of Olives, directed by Carolina Rivas.
Jenin Jenin includes testimony from Jenin residents after the Israeli army's Defensive Wall operation, during which the city and camps were the scenes of fierce fighting. The operation ended with Jenin flattened and scores of Palestinians dead. Banned in Israel, Jenin Jenin is dedicated to Iyad Samoudi, the producer of the film. On June 23, as Israeli forces besieged Yamun, Samoudi was shot and killed as he was leaving a military-closed area with three friends.
Color of Olives tells the story of a Palestinian family, the Amers, who live surrounded by the infamous West Bank Wall. Their daily lives are dominated by electrified fences, locks and a constant swarm of armed soldiers.
The film explores the world of all eight members of the family; their constant struggles and the small, endearing details that sustain them: including school friends, olive trees and two small donkeys.