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Kings and Extras: Digging for a Palestinian Image

Monday, January 22, 2024, 7:00–9:00pm

Logan Center for the Arts 201, 915 E. 60th St.

Azza El-Hassan’s filmmaking centers around the visual archive, especially on archives that have been destroyed or abducted. Kings and Extras: Digging for a Palestinian Image (Azza El-Hassan, Palestine, 2004, 62 min., DCP) traces El-Hassan’s search for the films of the PLO Media Unit that went missing during the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982. Following the theme of a road movie, the film travels from Palestine to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon as El-Hassan follows contradicting and confusing clues as to the whereabouts of the lost archive. While her search for lost images leads her down various dead ends, she is confronted with new clues and starts to construct her own story. In 2018, she founded The Void Project to explore the presence and absence of visual archives as a discourse in wartime narrative formation.

The event will also include a screening of The Remake of a Revolutionary Film (Azza El-Hassan, Palestine, 2019, 7 min., DCP), a short film reconstructed from the personal photo album of Palestinian photographer and cinematographer, Hani Jawharieh, who was killed while filming in the mountains in Lebanon. The footage was featured in the Palestine Film Unit’s Palestine in the Eye (1976), restored by El-Hassan in 2017. With The Remake of a Revolutionary Film, El-Hassan reconstructs the last five minutes of Jawharieh’s life, giving new valence to images shot more than forty years earlier.

3CT fellow Allyson Nadia Field will introduce the screenings, which are presented in conjunction with her Winter 2024 graduate seminar The Archive of Absence: Theories and Methodologies of Evidence. Joining Field for the introduction will be Ashley Dequilla and the Chicago Palestine Film Festival. A post-show discussion will be moderated by Field with Marah Abdel Jaber and Maliha Chishti. There will also be a pre-show reception catered by Cedars at 6:30pm.