Wisam Aljafari‘s short film ‘Ambience‘ tells the story of two young Palestinians trying to record a demo for a music competition inside a noisy and crowded refugee camp. When their recording fails because of the chaos around them, they discover an innovative way to meet the competition deadline.
The stellar short is Cannes Film Festival 3rd Prize Cinéfondation winner, and it became clear very early on that its simple gritty black and white aesthetic was more of a back ground noise than the actual back ground noise they end up recording. The music by Saed Masanat is terrific. The dialogue is very minimalistic and I must say, both actors (Salah Abu Nea’ma and Mohammad Alkhmour) do a decent job at showing their dissatisfaction with what seem like just clatter and tumult at first. Once they embrace the melodic harmonies of shouting and clangour on the streets, everything falls into place.
“We were all raised on someone else’s nostalgia.” – Dunia
Larisa Sansour‘s short film, titled ‘In Vitro’, is staged in the town of Bethlehem decades after an eco-disaster. The dying founder of a subterranean orchard is engaged in a dialogue with her young successor, who is born underground and has never seen the town she’s destined to replant and repopulate. Inherited trauma, exile and collective memory are central themes.
The streets of Bethlehem getting filled with a black oily substance, make for a great opening shot, what follows then is a split-screen conversation between two scientists, reminiscing on what used to be. Terrific cinematography go hand in hand with the well written screenplay, which discusses religion, science and natural disasters. Definitely worth checking out if you like post-apocalyptic content with a pinch of existential crisis.
‘Ambience‘ and ‘In Vitro‘ are both screening as part of Palestinian Film Festival.
‘Ambience‘ will be shown in the following cities:
- Sydney, Dendy Opera Quays, Oct. 24 at 7pm – before feature ‘It Must Be Heaven‘
- Canberra, Capitol Cinemas Manuka, Oct. 25 at 6:30pm – before feature ‘It Must Be Heaven‘
- Sydney, Dendy Newtown, Oct. 28 at 6:30pm – before feature ‘It Must Be Heaven‘
- Melbourne, Cinema Nova, Oct. 31 at 7pm – before feature ‘Screwdriver‘
- Hobart, State Cinema, Nov. 2 at 3:30pm – before feature ‘It Must Be Heaven‘
- Sydney, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Nov. 2 at 7pm – before feature ‘It Must Be Heaven‘
- Perth, Event Cinemas Innaloo, Nov. 8 at 6:30pm – before feature ‘It Must Be Heaven‘
- Brisbane, Event Cinemas Myer Centre, Nov. 8 at 6:30pm – before feature ‘It Must Be Heaven‘
Tickets are available now: https://www.palestinianfilmfestival.com.au/tickets/ambience/
‘In Vitro‘ will be shown in the following cities:
- Sydney, Dendy Opera Quays, Oct. 27 at 4:30pm – before feature ‘Ibrahim: a Fate to Define’
- Melbourne, Cinema Nova, Nov. 3 at 4:30pm – before feature ‘Ibrahim: a Fate to Define’
Tickets are available now: https://www.palestinianfilmfestival.com.au/tickets/in-vitro/
Palestinian Film Festival – Short Review – ‘Ambience’
Reviewed from screener provided by Palestinian Film Festival’s publicity team, Sydney, Oct. 17, 2019. CBA-Rating: Unclassified 15+. Running time: 15 min.
CREW: Director: Wisam Aljafari. Camera (black and white, widescreen): Ibrahim Handal. Editor: Belal Abu Alia. Music: Saed Masanat.
WITH: Salah Abu Nea’ma, Mohammah Alkhmour, Jameel Hilmi, Nelly Salman, Mutaz Shafout.
Palestinian Film Festival – Short Review – ‘In Vitro’
Reviewed from screener provided by Palestinian Film Festival’s publicity team, Sydney, Oct. 22, 2019. CBA-rating: Unclassified 15+. Running time: 28 min.
PRODUCTION: (Denmark, UK, Palestine) A Spike Island Production. Producer: Ali Roche. Line producer: May Odeh.
CREW: Director: Søren Lind, Larissa Sansour. Screenplay: Larissa Sansour. Camera (black and white, split-screen): Anna Valdez-Hanks. Editor: Sue Giovanni. Music: Niklas Schak.
WITH: Hiam Abbass, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Marah Abu Srour. (Arabic dialogue)