Solidarity festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque

The Solidarity Festival, a significant event in Israeli cinema and human rights, is running now at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, until May 1. This year’s program combines award-winning narrative and documentary films which provide contexts for issues related to social-political struggles, among them: globalization, refugees, the occupation, hunger and poverty, women’s rights, LGBT rights and environmental protection.

The festival opened with The Nile Hilton Incident, a political thriller set during Hosni Mubarak’s last days in power in Egypt. The film, from Swedish director Tarik Saleh, won the 2017 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

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Several films in the international program at will have their Israeli premieres at the festival, among them, Licu, A Romanian Story, which won the DOK Leipzig Award in 2017; Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas, winner of the 2017 IDFA, which presents the dark face of globalization in Ethiopia; Bones of Contention, screened a the 2017 Berlin Festival, which documents the current struggle to honor the memory of LGBT victims in Spain; 69 minutes of 86 days, which follows the journey of Syrian refugees through the eyes of a charismatic three-year-old girl. The festival screens these films and holds discussions about them with the audience in an effort to raise awareness of these struggles and create a unique space for dialogue that promotes peace, social justice, freedom and human rights.

Alongside the international program, the Israeli program includes premiere screenings of documentary films, among them Yesh Gvulstock, a movie including never-before-seen footage of a concert organized by the Yesh Gvul movement in 1982 against the First Lebanon War, which included appearances by Israel’s leading pop stars, among them Shalom Hanoch, Chava Alberstein, Benzine and David Broza; Divine Daycare, about the people involved in a preschool for the children of refugees in south Tel Aviv and what they went through after a firebomb was hurled at the nursery; and The Ramadan Cannon of Jerusalem, which takes a fascinating look at what happens on both sides of the barrier in Jerusalem during Ramadan.