Kings and extras (ملوك وكومبارس)

The films of the PLO Media Unit were supposed to show a self-determined image of Palestinian reality – and they went missing during the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982. In a "road-movie" from Palestine to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, the director Azza El-Hassan follows the contradicting and confusing clues as to the whereabouts of the lost archive. The increasingly absurd search finally leads her to a martyr’s graveyard, where the films are said to be buried – but no one really wants to dig over the whole place. While Azza’s search for lost images leads her down various dead ends, she is confronted with new clues and starts to construct her own story. The film reflects the situation in the Middle East – a failed revolution, the problematic relationship with the Arab neighbors, the question of a Palestinian identity today. Azza El-Hassan shows myths, life stories and life lies, the personal effects of defeat and loss. She even brings some humor to the tragedy of the situation – to which she simultaneously feels a sense of belonging and opposition.

Director(s): Azza El-Hassan

Azza El-Hassan is an independent Palestinian filmmaker. She was born in 1971 to a Palestinian refugees family in Amman, Jordan and grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. Following university studies in Scotland and Britain, she has worked at MBC, a television channel in London. Her work has been produced by and broadcasted on multiple international TV channels such as BBC, Arte, YLE and ARD. Between 1996 and 2007 she directed several documentaries including 3 cm less (2003), Kings and Extras (2004) and Always, look them in the eyes (2007). In 1996 she went to Palestine where she directed her first documentary Arab Women Speak Out. She decided to stay there and got involved in various social projects. In 1998 she directed Title Deeds from Moses about Israeli settlements around Jerusalem, and Sinbad Is a She in 1999. In 2008 she presented a film project called A Story of a Palestinian Gangster at the Atelier de Projets JCC in Tunisia. She also teaches cinema and video at the Modern Media Institute department from the Al-Qods University in Jerusalem.

Actor(s):Khadijeh Habashneh Abu Ali, Mustafa Abu Ali, Azza El-Hassan

Duration: 62 min.

Production:Deckert Distribution, ma.ja.de. filmproduktion in co-production with Yamama, BBC and WDR, in association with Arte, YLE TV2 and 03 productions / MBC