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On 4 April, 2011 Palestinian-Jewish actor, director and peace activist Juliano Mer-Khamis was murdered. He was the founder of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, a Palestinian refugee camp on Jordan’s West Bank. The theatre aims to provide young people with a place to develop their own artistic resistance against patriarchal oppression and the Israeli occupation. “Juliano put us on stage and we will stay on stage.” Taking their inspiration from well-known literary protagonists, director Udi Aloni and three young Palestinian actors follow Juliano’s lead and use their radical imagination in an unpredictably brutal environment to create an artistic form of rebellion: Mariam Abu Khaled brings together Palestinian children from both sides of the wall for a performance of ‘Alice in Wonderland’; Udi Aloni transforms his grief following the loss of his friend into a trauma-loop in his adaptation of ‘Waiting for Godot’; and actor Batoul Taleb explores the meaning of friendship. Finally, Juliano’s daughter Milay investigates the mysteries of the male concept of honour and the male propensity for violence in her version of ‘Antigone’. [Courtesy of Berlinale]

Junction 48

“My songs aren’t political, they just describe the place I come from.” Aspiring rapper Kareem (Tamer Nafar), the central character in Udi Aloni’s Junction 48, infuses his every action with music: from meeting friends and family dinners to video chats with his girlfriend Manar (Samar Qupty). After a car wreck kills his father and critically injures his mother, music is the thing to which he clings. But as his hip-hop ensemble begins to rise in the ranks of acclaim, we begin to question whether his lyrics can really be divorced from his politics. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]