Cranleigh Film Club – January 2018

Showing on 25th January, When I Saw You, at the Bandroom at 7.30pm, (doors open at 7.00pm and refreshments on sale)

This is Jacir’s second feature length film and like her first SALT OF THE SEA (2008) was nominated for the best foreign film Oscar in 2014. She was the first woman director of a Palestinian feature movie. She has been compared with her contemporaries in Iran because of her deceptively casual social realist style and her use of dramatic high points in the midst of every day events. Jacir comes from a wealthy Christian Palestinian background and has lived in many places before settling in Jordan with her husband whom she met on the set of Salt of the Sea. Her higher education is American via Dallas, California and Columbia Film School. Now she lives close to the Israeli border and like her protagonists in WHEN I SAW YOU, she can gaze at the land she believes she should be living in.

WHEN I SAW YOU is about a 12 year old boy, Tarek, and his mother. It takes place in the period after the 1967 war when Israel took back the West Bank, and refugees were living in camps in Jordan close to the border. Tarek learns that many of his fellow camp inmates have been there since 1948.

He is a highly intelligent boy, and his rebellious spirit leads to discipline problems at the camp school. He wants to break free of the constraints of his mother and the school, and go in search of his father from whom they were separated in 1948. When he sees men going into the hills with intent to confront the enemy, he decides to follow them and in due course they accept his presence. His mother concerned about him, follows and also joins the party. Tarek finds there are conflicting attitudes to the venture and the main objective he seeks, the return to Palestine, is just as unlikely as it was in the refugee camp. The word Tarek does not want to hear is “wait!”.

The film club closed last season’s programme with THEEB a film about an Arab boy who followed fighters into a war zone during WWI. Both films have boys who want to accept adult values and objectives but are disillusioned when involved in real action. Annemarie Jacir provides a more realistic picture but less drama and cinematic thrills than Theeb. What matters in both is the child’s eye view of the mess the adults are reacting to, largely incapably.

For information on how to join Cranleigh Film Club, and to learn about the international films to be shown till the end of the season, please contact by email the membership secretary Sara Lock:

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