Palestinian film day comes to Haifa

Controversial film, Paradise Now, about two suicide bombers, will be shown at the Haifa International Film Festival.

The controversial film, Paradise Now, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, the story of two suicide bombers, will be shown at the Haifa International Film Festival, which runs from October 18-25 at the Haifa Cinematheque. Paradise Now is being screened as part of a Palestinian Film Day program. The film has been shown in Israel already, at the Nazareth Cinematheque, but has not been screened where it is likely to be seen by mainly Jewish audiences. Other Palestinian Day movies include Since You Left, the latest film by actor/director Muhammad Bakri, who most recently made Jenin Jenin, which drew sharp criticism in Israel and praise throughout the Arab world. Gaza-born Rashid Masharawi will also be showing his latest film, a documentary called Arafat, Mon Frere, a portrait of Yassir Arafat's brother. But the Palestinian movies are just one part of a large film festival, which features over 150 movies and includes competitions for Israeli films (documentary and feature), as well as the Golden Anchor competition for movies made throughout the entire Mediterranean region. The opening film of the festival will be Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener, a film based on John Le Carre's story of international intrigue and Third-World poverty, starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. Festival guests this year include actor Willem Dafoe, who appeared in The English Patient and Mississippi Burning, and director Theo Angelopoulos (Ulysses' Gaze, Eternity and a Day).