Kings And Extras And The Fourth Room

Two delicate videos about wartime loss, both directed by Palestinian women. In Kings and Extras (2004, 63 min.) video maker Azza al-Hassan investigates the mysterious disappearance of the PLO film archive, three rooms’ worth of precious materials that vanished when Israel invaded Beirut in 1982. It’s an important subject, but her journey through four countries yields so little that she’s reduced to poeticizing her failure and interviewing random pedestrians. The loss in Nahed Awwad’s The Fourth Room (2005, 25 min.) is more personal: an amiable shopkeeper, traumatized by a past military invasion, guards a locked room from everyone, including Awwad, to prevent its being torn apart again. Both films are in Arabic with subtitles. (JR)

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