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Middle East film series at UC Berkeley to focus on education and understanding
12 November 2002

By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations

Berkeley - The University of California, Berkeley, this week is launching a Middle East film series, "Between Forgetting & Remembering: Palestinian and Israeli Cinemas," to help promote education, discussion and understanding about the people and issues of the region.

The program features film screenings, talks with directors and moderated discussion groups. It is sponsored by the Chancellor's Office and the Educational Activities Committee in collaboration with the Arab Film Festival Cinamayaat and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

Films will be shown in Wheeler Hall auditorium and admission is free. The filmmakers will attend the screenings and join discussion of their work afterward. They are also invited to campus the following day to talk with classes and student groups.

The film series is part of a year-long series of events sponsored by Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl and the Educational Activities Committee aimed at providing wide-ranging opportunities for informed discussion and reasoned debate about the conflicts in the Middle East.

The first film, "Crossing Kalandia," features a Palestinian filmmaker looking at a year of life (August 2001 through August 2002), from his personal point of view, in the town of Ramallah.

The 52-minute video journal will be shown at 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 17. Afterward, filmmaker Sobhi al-Zobaidi will be on hand to talk about his work. Beshara Doumani, a UC Berkeley associate professor of history, who has taught about Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, will moderate this discussion.

The second film, "Her Israel," is the work of Marjan Tehrani, an American documentary film maker, tells the stories of three women - one Jewish-Israeli, one Jewish-Russian and one Palestinian - in the metropolitan melting pot of Tel Aviv/Jaffa. A screening of "Her Israel" is set for 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 24. Tehrani will participate in a discussion with the audience following the 57-minute film. Ann Swidler, a professor of sociology at UC Berkeley, will be moderating the discussion with Tehrani.

Two additional films will be presented as part of this special series early in the coming year.

Among other upcoming events is an address by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall.

Free tickets to students have already been distributed. Tickets for the general public are on sale through Nov. 14 between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., at the Zellerbach Hall box office on campus or by calling (510) 642-9988. There is a limit of two tickets per person and prices start at $40.

For more information on the Web about UC Berkeley and the Mideast events, visit