D.C. Palestinian Film and Arts Festival
Emma Ashooh | 10/19/15 9:34pm
| Updated 10/19/15 9:35pm
D.C. is a cultural hotbed. Whether it is the architecture, the food, the embassies, or the people, Washington D.C. exemplifies the “melting pot” description that has characterized America for so long. With an abundance of diversity, there are always events going on that invite people into other cultures, such as the recent D.C. Palestinian Film and Arts Festival (DCPFAF).
DCPFAF is a non-profit, volunteer-run festival that exhibits the work of Palestinian filmmakers and artists for people in the Washington D.C. area. It was founded in 2011 by three young women to create a platform for the artistic creativity of Palestinians and has continued to be a success since then.
From October 1 to October 4, DCPFAF provided insight into Palestinian culture and what Palestinian people face everyday in a world unimaginable to most Americans. The stories told “reflect the dynamic formation of a transnational identity common to Palestinians, and diasporic communities more generally,” according to the DCPFAF website. Featuring 10 films, documentaries and shorts, there was plenty of screen time to show what life in Palestine is like and what those who have left Palestine face.
One feature film that kept your eyes glued to the screen was Giraffada, which followed the story of a veterinarian of the only zoo remaining in the Palestinian West Bank and his son, who had a deep love for the two giraffes at the zoo. During an air raid, one of the giraffes dies and the hope of survival for the other giraffe lies in Tel Aviv. The viewer is brought into the life of the veterinarian and his son, invested in the giraffes and what can be done to save them, all while feeling the danger and upsetting confluence of circumstances the pair faces in Palestine.
In addition to the films, the festival also showcased various pieces of literature, music and photographs for the full Palestinian experience. For those interested in the Middle East or who simply want to learn about other areas of the world, the DCPFAF is a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in a different identity by Palestinian artists themselves, whether you attend one event or buy a whole weekend pass. Just wait until the 2016 festival—it should be the best one yet!