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Free film series examines Israeli, Palestinian issues


Scene from "Encounter Point"

  • April 29, 2009

The Jewish Studies Program will present a series of four films on a range of Israeli and Palestinian issues between April 29 and May 20 on the Hayward campus of California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.

The free presentations will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in AE 1203 on the east side of campus. No food or beverage will be allowed in the room.

Janis Plotkin, who programmed and produced the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival from 1982 to 2002, is a film programmer of documentary and world cinema for the Mill Valley Film Festival. She has taught film at Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. Currently teaching at San Francisco State University, Plotkin will introduce each film and lead a discussion afterward.

The films are:

April 29 – Beyond the Walls (1984), Directed by Uri Barbash. This gritty, humanistic film draws a provocative parallel between a maximum security block and Israeli society. It presents a notion that Arab and Jew can find friendship and envision a dignity and freedom that can be found through solidarity. It received the International Critics Prize at the 1984 Venice Film Festival.

May 6 – Wedding in Galilee (1987), Directed by Michel Khleili. One of the first films made in Israel to feature an Arab point of view, “Wedding” is a detailed allegory of marriage, tradition and national identity. The elder of a Palestinian village under Israeli military rule wants permission to hold a traditional wedding for his son that will go past the imposed curfew. The Army commander agrees on the condition that he and his officers are invited as guests of honor at the ceremony. It won the International Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987.

May 13 – Salata Baladi (Egyptian Salad) (2008), Directed by Nadia Kamel. Award-winning Egyptian filmmaker Nadia Kamel’s heritage is a complex blend of religions and cultures. Her mother is a half Jewish, half Italian Christian who converted to Islam when she married Nadia’s half Turkish, half Ukrainian father. Prompted by the realization that her 10-year-old nephew Nabeel is growing up in an Egyptian society where talk of culture clashes is all too common, Nadia decides to let her mother share their diverse family history that includes her Egyptian-Jewish relatives now living in Israel.

May 20 – Encounter Point (2006), Directed by Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha. This documentary follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict. Their journeys lead them to the unlikeliest places to confront hatred within their communities. The film explores what drives them and thousands of other like-minded civilians to overcome anger and grief to work for grassroots solutions.

The series is funded by the Amy and Morton Friedkin Foundation of the East Bay Jewish Community Foundation and presented by the Jewish Studies Program of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

More information is available online at:

Campus parking is $5 per vehicle per day. Machines in parking lots accept dollars and quarters. CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify the event sponsor at 510-885-3161 well in advance if special accommodation will be needed.

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