08  10  2008


Brussels: Retrospective on Michel Khleifi at the Musée du Cinéma

The Musée du Cinéma in Brussels is putting on a retrospective of the works of Palestinian director Michel Khleifi during the Masarat Palestine Festival organised by the Halles de Schaerbeek.

Khleifi has unceasingly told the story of the suffering of his people through his films and documentaries. In his works, the notions of borders, of separation, but also, increasingly, of unity, are ever-present. It is precisely because film manages to cut across borders and lend a certain credibility to the word “peace” that the key to interpreting Khleifi’s films lies in the celebration of unity.

The retrospective, held at the Musée du Cinéma, includes seven films that were presented by the director at the opening night on 6 October, with the film Fertile memory, Belgium/West Germany/Netherlands/Belgium/Palestine, 1980.

Between 9 and 17 October, the following films by Khleifi will be screened:

Wedding in Galilee, Belgium/France/West Germany – 1987, International Critics Prize, Cannes 1987; Canticle of the stones, Belgium/Israel/France/UK/Palestine - 1990; L'ordre du jour Belgium/France/Luxembourg – 1993; Tale of the three jewels, Belgium/UK/Switzerland – 1995, Forbidden marriages in the holy land, UK/Palestine/Belgium – 1995; and Road 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel by Michel Khleifi & Eyal Sivan, Belgium/France – 2004.

Born in Nazareth in 1950, Khleifi immigrated to Belgium at the age of 20 where he studied theatre. In response to the question of why he left Palestine, he answers: “I emigrated for different reasons: political, human, emotional, as well as existential. I wanted another life because my development was blocked in Nazareth. As a Palestinian, I had no chance of registering as a student in Israel. So I went to Brussels to study theatre there because I was convinced and still am that culture is the most important commodity for me and for every Arab. I believe that education is the essential element in our struggle and the most significant basis for change.”