Human rights featured at Solidarity film fest

Tel Aviv festival will hold a special homage to the late writer and artist Amos Kenan.

‘Youth Unstoppable’ (2018) explores the rise of a global youth climate movement and will be screened at the Solidarity film festival on December 10. (photo credit: Courtesy)
‘Youth Unstoppable’ (2018) explores the rise of a global youth climate movement and will be screened at the Solidarity film festival on December 10.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Human rights, activism, discrimination and faith in the power of art to change lives stand at the center of the seventh annual Solidarity film festival that will open on December 5 and run for five days, providing patrons of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque ample opportunities to enjoy films which are a little different from the usual superhero-inspired fare produced by Hollywood.
Among the issues explored are the life-choices transgender people face as depicted in the 2019 film Seahorse. Among the like-named fish, it is the male who carries the next generation and gives birth. The documentary tells the story of Freddy McConnel, a transgender man who follows his dream to become a father by giving birth to his child.
 Another documentary, the 2019 film The Feminister, focuses on former Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom.
Wallstrom, who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, was seen by many in Israel as biased against the Jewish state after she linked the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the November 2015 Paris attacks. The film will allow the viewers to gain a more comprehensive view of Wallstrom and her views.
The Arab-Israeli conflict stands at the focus of another movie featured in the festival. The 2019 film Imagine Peace by Jewish-American director Michael Rogosin, who completed this film based on the never-before released reels taken by his late father, Lionel, in 1974.
The film follows the original 1974 conversation between Hebrew writer Amos Kenan and Palestinian poet Rashid Hussein. Interestingly, the reels were never screened and Michael decided to make a documentary that will honor his late father, who was a peace activist, as well as examine the issues discussed by Kenan and Hussein in the light of the decades that have passed since their original meeting.
The screening is part of a larger homage to the late Kenan who was a writer, poet, activist, painter and sculptor that will take place during the festival.
With the growing alarm around the planet due to increased evidence of climate change and the concerns of many young people that their lives will be radically worsened unless intensive efforts are taken to preserve the planet, director Slater Jewell-Kemker took her camera to speak with young men and women who are doing their best to save the world. The 2018 film Youth Unstoppable is the result of her efforts.
Not all films are documentaries – some are fictional exploration of identity and values, such as the 2018 film The Man Who Surprised Everyone about a Russian forest ranger diagnosed with cancer who, having only a few months to live, decides to live his remaining days as a woman. The lead was played by Russian actor Yevgeny Tsyganov, one of the shining talents on the Russian stage today.
While movies like the 2019 Joker, rooted in the fictional world created by Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939, and the recently-released Irishman appeal to millions around the world, Solidarity allows the viewer to focus for a film or two on the millions who inhabit it, including the person watching.
The Solidarity film festival will take place between December 5 – 10 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. Showing schedules and more information are available at