Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Chicago Film Festival Informs, Entertains

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Chicago Film Festival Informs, Entertains

Article excerpt

In uptown Chicago this past spring, the Preston Bradley Center was the setting for the Second Chicago Palestine Film Festival. This brave and informative week-long festival was designed to show Americans images of the Israel-Palestine conflict-from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, Gaza to Jenin-that they rarely see and know little about.

Festival director Danya Qato expressed her group's determination to make the Palestinian story available to all. "As the liberation struggle continues in Palestine and as we grapple with the realities of war and injustice," she explained, "our committee wants to offer...a plurality of visions on Palestine and the Palestinian people [which] can be freely shared."

This year's organizing committee, Qato continued, screened over 40 films and videos "from a diverse group of filmmakers, each presenting their voice and perspective, raw and unfettered." Widad Albassam, Rena Barakat, Benjamin Doherty and Christopher Khoury joined Qato in organizing a festival of which any filmmaker would have been proud, while delivering a firm message that peace will come when we seek truth and expect justice.

As Chicago's Christians celebrated Easter, the film festival's offerings showed very clearly that in the very place where Christianity began, violence reigns alongside a discouraging lack of compassion. …

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