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Israeli, Palestine filmmakers use cinema as 'weapon' against conflict
Saturday November 15, 2014 10:27 PM, IANS

Palestine filmmaker Najwa Najjar, whose "Eyes of A Thief" is the country's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar next year, Saturday said cinema is a "weapon" against the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict and could help resolve it.

Women filmmakers from the warring countries of Israel and Palestine are harnessing the medium of cinema as a "weapon" against the conflict with the hope that it might open a forum for discussion to solve issues.

"Cinema should cross boundaries. Why not have people from outside? Why not have languages and scripts from other countries?

"We have to discuss these issues. We can solve the problems if we can sit and talk and cinema is a weapon to begin those things," Najjar told reporters at the 20th Kolkata International Film Festival here.

"Eyes of A Thief" stars Egyptian superstar Khaled Abol Naga in the lead, a decision that drew a lot of flak from critics. It was shot in areas under Israeeli occupation and was filmed in the backdrop of bombings.

Her feature is being screened as part of the International Women Director's Films (competitive) segment alongwith Israel's "Self Made" helmed by Shira Geffen.

Geffen made a strong appeal at this year's Jerusalem Film Festival to end the Gaza conflict and urged that military action be stopped.

Samira Saraya, lead actress in "Self Made", advocated the same at the KIFF Saturday.

"We want people to see our films and see how the conflict has affected our nation and the people. Stop and find the solution, sit and talk. Bombing is not the solution," Saraya told the media here.

Despite the fact that both their films are competing against each other at the fest, their message remains the same.

"Our film is a bit controversial and not something you see in the West. So the Oscar nomination is a like a bit of light shed on it. Through festivals we hope to make it available in other countries," said Najjar.


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