Anthology Film Archives


March 8 – March 12

The film series “Archives of Power” examines the deliberate erasure of Palestinian archives, shedding light on how the manipulation of historical narratives serves as a potent tool for those in power to assert control and perpetuate domination.

Archives, often perceived as impartial guardians of history, are actually deeply entwined with political agendas. In the context of the Palestinian struggle, archives have been systematically pillaged and obliterated by the Israeli state and military, resulting in the loss of invaluable records of Palestinian history and resistance. Among the missing archives are decades of footage by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Palestine Film Unit (PFU). This collective of militant filmmakers emerged in the late 1960s, utilizing the camera as a tool of resistance to document the Palestinian experience and the struggle for liberation.

The film series features two documentaries about the Palestinian film archive and filmic legacy – Azza El-Hassan’s KINGS AND EXTRAS: DIGGING FOR A PALESTINIAN IMAGE (2004) and Mohanad Yaqubi’s OFF FRAME (aka REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY) (2016) – as well as a selection of earlier films created during the revolutionary Palestinian film era, which have recently been restored as part of El-Hassan’s invaluable initiative, “The Void Project”, which was founded in 2018 to explore the presence and absence of the Palestinian visual archives as a discourse in narrative formation, and to restore and distribute some of the surviving films of the era.

“Archives of Power” ultimately strives to amplify the voices and stories that have been marginalized and suppressed, reclaiming agency and autonomy in defiance of ongoing attempts to erase Palestinian history. Through making visible counter-narratives, we affirm the resilience of the Palestinian people and their unwavering dedication to preserving their collective memory and narrative identity. This program serves as an indispensable platform for comprehending and challenging the mechanisms of oppression and resistance within the domain of archival representation.

“Archives of Power” is curated by Ginou Choueiri (Executive Director of ArteEast) and is co-presented by ArteEast and Anthology Film Archives. This program is part of the legacy program “Unpacking the ArteArchive”, which preserves and presents twenty years of film and video programming by ArteEast. The program will also be screened online on from March 7-17, 2024.

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