Frontiers of Dreams and Fears

Came across this announcement of a film by Mai Masri, Frontiers of Dreams and Fears, playing at Concordia University in 2001. Shown there in Arabic, with French subtitles, and where the filmmaker was present. Then described as “a new documentary about the lives of children in two Palestinian refugee camps”.

Found this version entirely in Arabic, where the messages transcend language:

Though then, as discussed by Dave Kehr in a 2002 New York Times review:

There is little but rhetoric, however, in ”Frontiers of Dreams and Fears,” a manipulative study of the long-distance friendship between two Palestinian girls.

Mona, 13, lives in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, where her family was sent after losing its land in 1948. Manar, 14, is a resident of the Dheisha camp near Bethlehem. Both members of the Ibdaa Cultural Center, the young women exchange letters and photographs, but are prevented from meeting by border regulations.

As directed by Mai Masri, ”Frontiers of Dreams and Fears” is very heavy on heart-rending close-ups of suffering children. It is impossible not to be moved by imagery such as this, and also impossible not to feel somewhat used by it. ”Why are we studying?” one child proclaims in voice-over, an attitude that the filmmaker appears to endorse. ”We have no future.” But surely, in the complex context of the Middle East, this sort of sentimental passivity is an indulgence no one can afford.

Whereas in another overview (ITVS):

Mona and Manar are two Palestinian girls growing up in refugee camps in Beirut and Bethlehem. Despite the overwhelming barriers that separate them, the girls form a close friendship through letters and a dramatic meeting at the Lebanese border. Shot during the liberation of southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation and at the beginning of the Palestinian intifada, frontiers of dreams and fears articulates the feelings, hopes, and growing activism of a generation of young Palestinians living in exile.


Dunno much, sometimes…


About brucelarochelle
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