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The Wanted 18
May 23 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Our third screening for the Hastings Palestinian Film Festival is the extraordinary, award-winning animated documentary The Wanted 18. Directed by Amer Shomali, the film tells the true story about Beit Sahour, a small Palestinian town outside of Bethlehem, which buys 18 cows during the First Intifada as part of a drive for self-sufficiency. The townspeople teach themselves how to care for and milk the animals and the farm is a success, with strong local demand for “Intifada milk.” However, the herd is declared a ‘threat to the national security of the state of Israel’ and Israeli forces seek to impound them, forcing the town to hide the herd as fugitives from the law. This ridiculous and yet important story of resistance is told with humour through archival footage, reconstruction, interviews, and stop motion animation. [UNRATED] Length: 76 mins.
The Wanted 18 forms part of Hastings’ first Palestinian Film Festival, being held to commemorate Nakba Day on 15 May. The Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) describes the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1946/9 by Israeli forces. During this period, over 750,000 Palestinians fled their homes and 550 villages were destroyed or occupied. Many descendants still live in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The Wanted 18’s director Amer Shomali grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. He spent his days reading comic books and learning about the incredible stories of the uprising in Beit Sahour, where his father and many of his close relatives came from. He describes making the film as a ‘window into the past’, adding: “It was a healing process for me to recreate this reality I’d missed.”
There is an ongoing Nakba: 7 million refugees worldwide have the right to return to their homes, a guarantee passed by the UN Resolution 194 in 1948, and they are denied this right by Israel. Palestine Solidarity campaigns for a just peace for Palestine and Israel but realises this cannot be achieved until the Nakba is acknowledged and International Law upheld.
Tickets available on the day.