The Toronto Palestine Film Festival tastefully expresses that which discussions, lectures or debates cannot accurately describe. The assortment of films captivate the overwhelming reality of life in tension at the Gaza strip, other occupied territories, and similar struggles. The “Traveling Art Show” exhibited at the entrance of the theatre begs the visitors to prepare for the veracity they are about to view.
The film “Shout”, directed by Ester Gould, Sabine Lubbe Bakker, opens with the echoes of a conversation between two brothers, disunited forty years, speaking over megaphones over the hills of the Golan-Heights, Israeli-occupied Syrian territory in visible distance from one another, but fiercely divided by a field of land-mines in the way of their embrace. The story follows two eighteen year old boys, Ezat and Bayan, embarking on an opportunity to study in their homeland, in the city of Damascus. The riveting long shots of beautiful landscapes presenting the distance apart, the isolation, and the oppression captures the reality of the occupation and the choices that the characters were forced to make in light of their condition. The existence of strong familial bonds, dignity, and the presence of strong a necropolitical order limiting people’s rights, ability to speak and act freely was shown with touching interviews and elegant tracking shots of the young men throughout their adventure.
The colorful nuances and breaks of adolescent humor make the documentary both entertaining and elevate it to a compassionate level. Human beings are creatures that cut trees, make paper, and write “save trees” on the same paper. These children, these people, are all haunted by humans. The reality of the words spoken on the subject of struggles and oppressions was brought to a vivacious reality with the 4th annual Toronto Palestinian Film Festival, which at least partially connected viewers to the emotional absoluteness of such oppressions.