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France, 2005 (MIFF 2005, Homelands Now: The Middle East in Focus)

Director: Rashid Masharawi


Yasser Arafat died on 11 November 2004, with the world looking on. His brother, Fathi Arafat, died three weeks later in comparative silence. Palestinian filmmaker Rahid Masharawi wanted to confront the PLO leader to get his perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to understand where the future might lie for the Palestinian people. Arafat could not leave Ramallah and it was difficult for Masharawi to enter. The filmmaker decided to access Arafat through his brother, the president of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, whom he knew personally and to whom Arafat was close. Masharawi trails him through Cairo, Gaza and Paris, filming him during car journeys, chemotherapy sessions and in political discussions to learn more about the man at the helm. He met Arafat only briefly in Moqtada, just before he was taken to Paris. Masharawi offers an intimate portrait of the young Arafat and his family in this moving documentary, providing a human face to the man who dominated Middle Eastern politics and television screens alike since the 1970s.

D Rashid Masharawi P Hind Saih WS Play Film L Arabic w/English subtitles TD video/col/2005/75mins. Rashid Masharawi was born in Gaza, Palestinian Territories, in 1962. His films include Curfew (1993), Behind the Walls (1999), Ticket to Jerusalem (2002).

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