Director: Sherine Salama
The Last Days of Yasser Arafat tells the final chapter in the story of one of the most controversial public figures of our time.
In September 2003, Palestinian-Australian filmmaker Sherine Salama travelled to the besieged compound of Yasser Arafat. She had a hunch his days were numbered.
After a long, frustrating and often-comical struggle, she finally succeeded in interviewing Arafat in October 2004. And then, in an extraordinary twist of fate, Arafat died the following month.
As Salama ingratiates herself with Arafat's aides and minders, lobbies officials and recruits her own Palestinian friends, she builds a compelling detail of daily life in the compound, as well as identifying the looming health crisis that would eventually lead to Arafat's death.
When he collapses two weeks after the interview, she records every extraordinary twist and turn that follows - the conflicting statements from Arafat's inner circle, the frenzied hunger of the world's media and, finally, the confusion and grief of ordinary Palestinians.
Director Sherine Salama will be attending the festival, and will introduce the screening on Thursday 27 July, 9.30pm at ACMI and will be followed by a Q&A.
D/P Sherine Salama WS Habibi Films TD video/2006/76mins
Sherine Salama was born in Cairo, Egypt. Her films include Australia Has No Winter (1999, TV doco) and A Wedding in Ramallah (MIFF 2003).