Here and Now: Contemporary Arab Women Filmmakers

Salt of This Sea

Annemarie Jacir

Premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, Annemarie Jacir's debut feature follows Soraya (Suheir Hammad), a young, Brooklyn-born working-class woman who, after her father passes away, gathers enough money to visit her family's homeland of Palestine for the first time. On paper, she's there to unfreeze her grandfather's savings, which were stolen after he was exiled during the Nakba in 1948; however, the reality she encounters — a combination of Kafkaesque bureaucracy, deeply entrenched discrimination, and moments of stunning beauty — leads her to learn not only about her past, but also the vast possibilities for the future. Jacir plunges the viewer into the world of Palestinians, capturing the frustrations and indignities of life under Occupation and how life and dreams, in spite of the odds, continue to flourish.

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