Canticle of the Stones | Chicago Reader

Canticle of the Stones

Set in mid-1980s Palestine during the first intifada, this 1990 political drama from writer-director Michel Khleifi (Wedding in Galilee) juxtaposes a love regained with violence and despair in the streets. The two lovers—a sociologist and a resistance fighter—meet almost two decades after being separated by the 1967 war; their nostalgic conversations are supposed to communicate their sacrifices but seem precious and overly intellectual in contrast to the verite footage of confrontation and the tales of woe from ordinary Palestinians. In Arabic with subtitles. 110 min. On the same program: Walid Ra'ad's Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (17 min.), which includes some of the 50-plus video records made of Souheil Bachar, the only Arab held hostage with Westerners in Beirut during the 1980s. His bitter commentary, spoken in English by a dispassionate female voice, describes the favorable treatment accorded the five Westerners who were briefly his cell mates and their condescending treatment of him.


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