The Wanted 18

The Wanted 18
Genre:
Documentary, Animation | Director: Paul Cowan, Amer Shomali | Language: Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, English Subtitles | Length: 75 mins. | Country: Israel and Palestinian Territories | Year: 2014 | Rating: NR

It’s 1987, and the first Palestinian poplar movement in the West Bank is rising. Residents want local alternatives to Israeli goods, including milk, which they’ve been buying from an Israeli company. And so begins the strange story of the 18 cows. The plot is hatched by pacifist intellectuals and professionals. Not your typical dairy farmer. These “lactivisits” forge ahead anyway, buying 18 cows and smuggling them into the West Bank of Beit Sahour. But who knows anything about cows? These newly minted farmers have to learn the most basic skills – even how to milk their charges, which isn’t as easy as it looks. Eventually, the cows come to the attention of Israeli authorities, and the chase is on – a cat-and-mouse (or soldier-and-cow) game writ large, as the cows shuttle from barn to barn, which their pursuers determined to find them. The cows become legendary and the “intifada milk” (sometimes distributed under cover of darkness) becomes a part of daily life.

More information about the film can be found here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.1, WH.H.8.2

Driving to Zigzigland

Driving to Zigzigland
Genre:
Comedy | Director: Nicole Ballivian | Language: Arabic, English | Length: 92 minutes | Country: United States, Palestine | Year: 2006 | Rating: NR

A chronicle of a day in the life of a Palestinian cab driver in Los Angeles, DRIVING TO ZIGZIGLAND, portrays the social struggle of the Arab immigrant in post-9/11 America. The utilities are due and Bashar has twenty-four hours to make the money. For the remaining hours left until tomorrow, an unceasing flow of passengers ride in Bashar’s taxi and give the Arab cabbie the run around on issues that deal with suicide bombers, George Bush, Cat Stevens, the war in Iraq, music, and world geography.

Without losing its lightness or optimism, Driving to Zigzigland manages to contemplate discrimination and fear in the post-9/11 era, the desire to leave one’s homeland and the yearning to return to it, and the constant reinterpretations of identity that we all engage in. It is not only Palestinians who dream of Zigzigland, Bashar explains, “The American dream is just a Zigzigland dream.” In life, he says, “there is only struggle and survival.”

Available for free streaming online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2

Zahrah

Zahrah
Genre:
Documentary, Biography | Director: Mohammed Bakri | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 70 minutes | Country: Palestine, Israel | Year: 2009 | Rating: N/A

Director Mohammad Bakri narrates this personal documentary about his aunt Zahra Bakri. Mrs. Bakri was born and raised in the Palestinian village of al-Bane in the Galilee. Starting with her childhood, the film takes us on a journey through Palestine’s turbulent history and chronicles the effects of these unfolding events on Zahra and her extended family. We experience the violence that resulted in the establishment of Israel, the effect of life under martial law (1948-1966) on Palestinian family life, and the radical transformation of Palestinian society from a majority to a disenfranchised minority in their own homeland.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.1