World Cinema

Living Like Refugees

Seventh annual film festival explores Palestinian culture over two weekends

By Eric Harrison May 7, 2013

Film: When I Saw You

Now in its seventh year, the Houston Palestine Film Festival kicks off Friday with two weekends of films spotlighting Palestinian culture and the Palestinian experience. The four features and one short film will screen on Friday and Saturday (May 10 and 11) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and conclude on May 17 and 18 with screenings at the Rice Media Center.

The festival is shorter than in previous years, when it stretched over five days and drew packed audiences to programs of short films and  live performances. Still, these are movies that Houstonians otherwise would not get to see, and this year's program offers a varied lot.

The films range from When I Saw You, about an 11-year-old boy who lives in a Jordanian refugee camp, to a humorous short that proposes a fanciful solution to the issue of Palestinian statehood—a single, colossal skyscraper to house the divided Palestinian population. A World Not Ours is an intimate portrait of three generations of a single family in a Lebanon refugee camp constructed from personal recordings, family archives, and historical footage. 

A dramatic feature about forbidden love in Gaza, Habibi Rasak Kharban, will screen on May 17. The festival takes a different turn on its final night, May 18, with Detroit Unleaded, a comedy-drama set inside a family-owned gas station in Detroit.

For the full festival program, visit the official website.

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