December 8, 12pm EST
December 8, 7pm (EET)/12pm (EST)
The program Letters of Resistance presents videos that are in themselves ways to navigate the tremendous societal pressure on queer individuals from Arab-speaking countries. Using music, irony, and intergenerational dialogues, these videos narrate a story of queer love, creativity, and resistance. As Soha Becharra phrases it in Omar Gabriel’s film, whether for gender and sexuality rights or against colonial occupation, struggles for liberation are interconnected, “My fight for the liberation of south Lebanon is a stage of the open battle of life with and against society and the state. My journey with Juan has become a part of this battle.”
The Sursock Museum in collaboration with Festival Ciné-Palestine and Cinema al Fouad present a series of films and a recorded conversation in the framework of the second edition of Queer Cinema for Palestine.
Join us on Friday December 8 at 7pm EET for a screening of films and videos by Omar Gabriel, Sirine Fattouh, Sharon Hakim, and Bashar Mourad.
This event is free of charge, but due to limited capacity, please register here.
This program was developed and produced a few months before October 7, 2023. We believe it is still relevant. In view of the ongoing mass bombing taking place in Gaza by the Israeli occupation army, we want to stress again that no queer liberation is possible under occupation. #Cease_Fire_Now #Free_Palestine
La Grande Nuit
Esma is a young cabaret dancer of Algerian origin in search of freedom. Hantirah, a young Syrian doctor who is destined for a future mapped out by his parents, is torn between his love for her and his commitment to his fiancée, a medical student like him. On Eid day, between the streets of Barbès and the queer cabaret where Aragoz, Hantirah’s best Egyptian friend, performs, we discover a modern youth of various Arab origins.
Sharon Hakim is a French-Egyptian screenwriter and director. La Grande Nuit is her first produced film. She holds a BA in literature and studied economic and political philosophy at the American University in Paris. In 2015, she pursued directing studies at the New School in New York City. Hakim is currently working on a new short and is writing her first long feature.
Maskhara is a satirical Arabic Pop song encapsulating the combined struggles of living under occupation, fighting patriarchy, and going through the pandemic. Fusing various musical styles, from disco to ’80s nostalgia and Caribbean rhythms, the track stands as a window into counter-culture, ushering positivity into year-end and conveying hidden messages through images and symbols.
Ilkul 3am Bitjawaz
Ilkul 3am Bitjawaz (Everyone is Getting Married) is Bashar Murad’s debut in the realm of Arab Pop. Through both song and video, Murad employs satire to lampoon the relentless societal expectations surrounding marriage, particularly the notion that reaching 30 without a partner is a failure. In the self-directed visuals Bashar takes audacious steps by challenging conventional gender roles.
Bashar Murad is a Palestinian Pop artist, singer/songwriter and filmmaker who produces globally influenced pop music rooted in the Palestinian spirit. His music challenges stereotypes and highlights social issues facing Palestinian youth that are seldom addressed in Palestine, including living under occupation, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ rights. Bashar’s work includes the music videos Shillet Hamal (Bunch of Bums), Ilkul 3am Bitjawaz (Everyone’s Getting Married), and Ana Zalameh (I am a Man).
A Letter to Myself: Soha Bechara
In a letter to herself, Soha Bechara, a Lebanese figure of the resistance to the Israeli occupation expresses her worries about her son Juan, who recently confessed to her that he was a boy in a girl’s body. Soha reflects on her child’s struggle and what it would mean for him if they had not left Lebanon to live in Switzerland.
Omar Gabriel is a Lebanese photographer and filmmaker. His work documents the beauty and complexity of human relationships, from the subtleties of love and societal pressures to the courage to break free from conventions. With a focus on intimate moments, he tells stories of resistance, defiance, and escape from societal pressures. Gabriel holds a Master in cinema from the Institute of Audiovisual Scenic Studies (IESAV).