Under the title “Postcards from the Future”, eleven renowned world cinema personalities produced short films which will be screened every evening on the giant screen of Locarno's Piazza Grande, to 8,000 spectators. It is an idea thought up by Locarno's artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro and developed with the help of RSI for the festival's 75th anniversary.
The festival asked renowned filmmakers such as Annemarie Jacir -- along with Ukrainian screenwriter Natalya Vorozhbit, Swiss director Fredi M. Murer, Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov, French helmer Bertrand Mandico, U.S. filmmaker Kevin B. Lee, English director Claire Simon, Israeli writer and director Nadav Lapid and Swiss Rwandan filmmaker Kantarama Gahigiri -- for a three to four minute short which would describe their vision of the future.
The project aptly points the finger at tomorrow's humanitarian disasters today, so that we may still have time to do something about them. Each filmmaker focused on his or her own country, with Jacir sending a postcard from the future of Palestine.
While bombs from Israel rain down on Gaza these days, Jacir's film seems particularly timely, as it focuses instead on the way the Occupation has removed access to the sea for those living in the West Bank, who are "forbidden from going to the sea," as Jacir points out.
"They [Locarno] gave us a small budget, and I used the money to hire some guys from Jenin, got them permits and brought them to Haifa, we got a winch and we built the wall, on the shore," Jacir explains to MIME. "I worked with my usual team, including Ossama [Bawardi, producer on most of Jacir's films], Nael Kanj and Athar Sbeit as production designers, as well as Ashraf Dowani [the film's DoP] on this project and we constructed this giant wall which is the exact same dimensions as the apartheid wall in Palestine," she continues.
"I invited a young sound designer, Hussein Alaroury, to collaborate with me and he did the soundtrack," which is quite haunting and accompanies the stillness of the images while watching the short film. Described by Jacir as "a huge undertaking for just a couple of minutes," the filmmaker remained always aware of the size of the screen the film would be shown on. "I knew it would be screened in a Piazza Grande," which is among one of the largest screens in Europe, "so I wanted something that would really show the weight and ugliness of the apartheid wall, for audiences to experience." We won't give the ending of the film away but it does involve an ocean, a necessary destruction and the laughter of a child...
Jacir's film will be screened on the 12th of August in the Piazza Grande, and to find more information, check out the Locarno website.