How is a sense of home made and unmade?
How we deal with often multiple and conflicting sites of home?
Come see a special New York screening of five provocative films that explore political, human, and existential questions about home in our interconnected world, followed by a discussion. Films include My Hometown, Rabbit á la Berlin, Budrus, Overruled, and K. We will have special appearances by Director Jerry Levitan; Iranian Actor and Director, Mohammad Ghaffari; Neguin Yavari, Assistant Professor of History and Warren Spielberg, Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, The New School.
Part I | Making Home and Overcoming Borders in an Interconnected World
My Hometown - New York Premier, Dir. Terry Tompkins & Jerry Levitan, 2011, 7 min.
Yoko Ono’s timeless message of home, peace and love. Narrated by Yoko Ono and featuring her song "Remember Love" (the B-Side of Plastic Ono Band's "Give Peace A Chance") as the soundtrack for the film.
Directed by Terry Tompkins and Jerry Levitan, whose meeting with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 when he was 14 has taken him to the Oscars and the Emmys and led to this project based on Yoko Ono’s work.
Rabbit á la Berlin - Dir. Bartek Konopka & Piotr Rosolowski, 2009, Berlin, 39 min.
An Oscar-nominated, tall-but-true tale from a rabbit's point of view: For 28 years the Berlin Wall stood as a no man’s land known as the “death strip.” The land enclosed between the two walls, it turns out, was ironically the safest of enclaves for rabbits: Full of grass, no predators, and guards to ensure that no one disturbed them. But sadly for the rabbits, one day, the wall fell… The rabbits’ fate serves as an allegorical tale of the folly of our attempts as humans to divide ourselves by borders. Directed by acclaimed Polish filmmaker Bartek Konopka.
Budrus - Dir. Julia Bacha, 2010, Israel-Palestine, 82 min.
Award-winning, action-filled feature documentary about how a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (co-writer and editor of Control Room and co-director Encounter Point), and produced by Bacha, Palestinian journalist Rula Salameh, and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni (formerly of WITNESS, Director of Encounter Point). More than a film about one Palestinian village, Budrus tells a much bigger story about what is possible in the Middle East. Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan praised the film, stating that Budrus: "Gives an enormous amount of hope... It's a story which will have an impact and can help bring [about] change.”
Discussion with Jerry Levitan and Warren Spielberg to follow
Part II | Iran, Modernity, and The Conditions of Home(less)
With special guest actor Mohammad Ghaffari
Overruled - Dir. Shirin Neshat, 2012, 10 min.
Featuring actor Mohammad Ghaffari, music by Mohsen Namjoo, and poetry by Rumi, this film version of Neshat’s startling multimedia performance draws upon themes of justice and the struggle of the artist against the constraints of authoritarian rule. It takes as its historical source the 10th century trial of Sufi mystic Mansur Al-Hallaj, who was convicted of blasphemy and executed by dismemberment. Through this film, an episode from Persian history becomes a mirror for tensions within and between various modes of belief in the contemporary world.
K - Dir. Shoja Azari, 2002, 85 min.
An elegant adaptation of three Kafka stories, Azari takes the characters from a monotonous sales bureau to a palatial mansion that transmutes into a tomblike fort, from desert sun to the shabby imperialism of a colonial outpost. Shot in stark black and white, the film evokes the unease and bewilderment that dogs Kafka's K, exploring humanity’s deepest anxieties and fears in facing the modern world. This film by award winning filmmaker and multi-media artist Shoja Azari has become a cult classic, winning awards from Moscow to LA to Greece, Serbia, and Poland.
Discussion with Mohammad Ghaffari and Neguin Yurvari to follow