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A two-screen solution

Chicago Palestine Film Festival opens at Gene Siskel Film Center


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Love During Wartime (Sat 4/21, 8 PM, and Wed 4/25, 8:15 PM), in which a young married couple try to navigate Israel's citizenship laws; Enemy Alien (Sun 4/22, 5:15 PM, and Wed 5/2, 8 PM), about a Palestinian activist in New York City who was arrested after 9/11; and Roadmap to Apartheid (Fri 4/27, 8 PM, and Sun 4/29, 5 PM), which parallels the segregation of Palestinians in Israel with the apartheid era in South Africa. Despite these weighty subjects, the festival's opening-night attraction is a comedy, Sameh Zoabi's Man Without a Cell Phone (Fri 4/20 and Thu 4/26, 8:15 PM). Pleasant if inconsequential, it tells the story of an elderly Palestinian in northern Israel whose protest campaign against a new cell phone tower grows increasingly farcical, and of his grown son, whose search for a lover is complicated by prejudice against his people. The film's most politically potent moment comes in the shot introducing the father, when he speaks to his son but addresses the camera. "Stop staring at me," he snaps at the viewer. "Give me a hand!"

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Related Film

Man Without a Cell Phone

Director: Sameh Zoabi

Producer: Marie Gutmann, Amir Harel and Ayelet Kait

Cast: Bassem Loulou, Louay Noufy and Razi Shawahdeh