Azoulay / Hawal / Khleifi

15 December, 2014 - 19:00
Galeries, Brussels

A programme compiled by Ariella Azoulay, as a "prelude" to her visit on the 18th.

2 films, chosen by Ariella Azoulay, that deal with the impact of the events of 1948 on Palestinians and Jews. Documenting something that goes beyond the suffering of the victims and the glory of the victors, transcending more conventional expectations to either expose details of the catastrophe or veil it from view, these films enable spectators to witness a variety of forms of Jewish-Palestinian co-existence to which the event of 1948 put an end. Don't miss the other program and the talk with Azoulay on the 18th of December. The screenings are part of a larger series called 1948 – Once Upon a Palestine which Azoulay curated for the Middle East Studies program at Brown University.


In collaboration with KU Leuven / Leuven University Press, Galeries & Aleppo.

Return to Haifa

Kasem Hawal

Kasem Hawal’s adaptation of the Ghassan Kanafani novella Return to Haifa is a rarely seen gem. Kanafani’s seminal allegorical story tells of Safia and Saeed, who are forced by gunfire and artillery to leave their 5 month old son Khaldoun in the city of Haifa when they are expelled in April 1948. Twenty years on, with the 1967 war and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the couple are able to travel to Haifa. They discover that Khaldoun, now Dov, was adopted by Jewish immigrants arriving in 1948, and – now 20 – has recently enlisted in the Israeli army. The story, and the film – which remains true to Kanafani’s style and purpose – proceeds to pursue impossible questions – who is the real mother? Who is the real father? What is a homeland, and whose is it? And, finally, what is the way to Return to Haifa.

Ma'loul Celebrates Its Destruction

Michel Khleifi

For a long time, the original inhabitants of the Galilean village of Ma’aloul, destroyed by Israel after the 1948 War, were only allowed to visit their old village once a year, on Israel’s Day of Independence. The film follows them on that day and reveals a world of painful memories and the villagers’ profound determination to cling to their ancestral land. Village elders recall the destruction of both their property and harmonious way of life, as youngsters scramble to savour and absorb their forbidden heritage in a single, precious day. lntercut with these scenes, a teacher in a Palestinian classroom explains to his teenage students the history of Palestine, the Holocaust and the creation of Israel.