Jarmaq Films presentation. Produced by Kamran Elahian.
Co-producers, Sharbel Elias, Kayo Hatta. Directed, screenplay
by Hanna Elias.
A sleeper hit at the S.F. Fest,
Hanna Elias' "The Olive Harvest" effectively
integrates a simple, involving tale of romantic love,
tradition and family loyalty into the larger climate
of unease in a Palestinian countryside vulnerable to
aggressive Israeli settlers ... More...
uses craft as tool for peace.
director Hanna Latif Elias has pulled off a feat that
few world leaders, let alone filmmakers, could manage;
he made his feature film debut, "The Olive Harvest,"
in Ramallah, Palestine's cultural center, with an Arab
cast and an Israeli crew ...
slate fuels debate
Fest pushes political envelope
By Melanie Goodfellow
-- Unfolding against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, the Jerusalem Film Festival has a tradition
of screening politically controversial films that hit
a raw nerve locally, and this year is no exception.
Drawing criticism from both sides of the conflict is
Palestinian Hanna Elias' "The Olive Harvest,"
a romance set in a Palestinian village surrounded by
Israeli settlements that screened in fest's panorama
Employing a Palestinian cast and Israeli crew and shot
in the Palestinian Authority, pic revolves around a
young woman who falls in love with two brothers... More...
Olive Harvest drew acclaim as the runner-up at
the San Francisco Film Festival, and recently made its
Middle East debut. Two brothers, one a former Palestinian
political prisoner who sees no future in violence, and
the other a low-level official who fights Israeli settlements,
fall in love with the same woman. ... More...
BRINGING PAESTINE TO THE SILVER SCREEN
AN INTERVIEW WITH HANNA ELIAS
seeing the world premiere of The Olive Harvest at the
46th San Francisco Int'l Film Festival, we had to speak
with its creator, Hanna Elias. The film serves as one
of the first narrative films written by a Palestinian,
showing life in Palestine from their perspective. Since
film in general has become, for better or for worse,
one of the most influential ways that people learn about
the rest of the world and its history, the importance
of this film cannot be understated. The fact that it
is also a passionate and compelling account of a family,
written and performed in such a way that anyone can
identify with the characters, just makes it that much
more astonishing and enjoyable an experience. Once we
sat down with Hanna, we realized that the passion infused
into every line of dialogue in the film effervesces
through his conversation in the real world too. Read
on, for an illuminating look at filming a world you've
likely only seen on the 11:00 o'clock news. More...
Mixed Reception for Palestinian
audience were quickly drawn into the film, the first
full length feature for Elias. The cinema rang to the
sounds of laughter as they connected with the characters
and the struggles of love versus obligation and the
conflict between young and old.
"It was very, very beautiful," one women said
afterwards. "We are human beings first and we must
think about love, not just about the Israeli army and
jails, that's why the film is so beautiful..."
The Big Picture
LUCY KIM October 2006
The prospect of peace has been, for well over two decades,
a principal theme in Elias’ life and work ...
challenging cultural misconceptions.
IS THE modern poetry," says film director Hanna
Latif Elias. His lyrical film, ‘The Olive Harvest’,
was the Palestinian Authority's official entry to the
2005 Oscars. ... More...
& Gadgets in the World of Technology
Silicon Valley, Kamran Elahian is one of the high-tech
industry's best-known "serial entrepreneurs,"
who seem to create companies only a bit less frequently
than some people buy shoes... Mr.
Elahian, 48 years old, is the producer and primary financial
backer for "The Olive Harvest," a first feature
by Palestinian director Hanna Elias that had its premier
last week at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Mr. Elahian agreed to back the film, a love story set
against the backdrop of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,
after meeting Mr. Elias, a former humanitarian worker,
on a sojourn to the Middle East. The Iranian born Mr.
Elahian said he funded the film in part, because it
promised to show a perspective he believes is underrepresented
in media coverage. "It is showing that Palestinians
are people, too," he says... More...
with olive harvest as backdrop to be screened today
in Tel Aviv
Captivating Raeda Adun stars in film made in PA
it seems as though there is no such thing as an Arabic
language film - Israeli or Palestinian - without the
presence of actress Raeda Adun.
the past year, two films in which she starred came to
Israeli screens -"Trumpet in
the Wadi" by Slava and Lena Chaplin, which a year-and-a-half
ago took first prize at the Haifa Film Festival and
the Israeli Academy Award for the best drama, and Ali
Nasr's "In the Ninth Month," which last year
won the Jury Prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival. On
Sunday, there was the premiere Israeli screening of
another film in which she stars: "The Olive Harvest,"
directed by Hanna Elias...Adun's
presence in the film, as in all the films in which she
participates, is captivating, in part because of her
enchanting smile, the mysterious sexuality she radiates
and her piercing eyes... Elias, a Palestinian director
who has been living in California for the past several
years, studied sociology at Jerusalem University and
film at UCLA. He filmed the movie in the Palestinian
Authority, during the olive harvest season, with the
participation of scores of extras who live in the area.
Very few films have been made in the PA, and this fact
makes this film especially interesting...
Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem
Propaganda film or message of peace?
Filmed by an Israeli crew with Palestinian actors (there
was even a brief fling between a Palestinian man and
Israeli women during production, revealed Elias), Elahian
called the final product a "message of peace."
... After the film, actor, Taher Najeeb, said "I
wanted to make a Palestinian film about love without
mentioning the [Israeli- Palestinian] conflict. In that,
we failed, because it's impossible. If I have one request,
it's to end the occupation because I want to make a
film without having to mention occupation."
Elahian said he produced the film because "The
world needs to see the side of Palestine that I see.
Americans see only images of suicide bombers. I see
many of the most beautiful people, on both sides. Why
they can't co-exist, I don't understand... " More..
The Olive Harvest
man returns to his village in Palestine to a heros
welcome, praised for being a political prisoner. Although
Israeli settlers are encroaching on their olive groves,
the main conflict of the film arises when he falls for
the same girl his younger brother has secretly been
courting. The story is a drama between two brothers,
two sisters, a mother, a father, and an olive tree that
takes care of the village. Although the film is set
in the middle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the
story stays focused on the two brothers, and the younger
sister Raeda (Raeda Adon). In doing so, the film makes
its points gently and affectionately, in the context
of family, tradition,and love universal values
that surreptitiously bind the audience to the main characters.
film does show the dehumanizing experience of getting
through checkpoints, and the squeezing pressure that
Israeli settlements place on Palestinian farmlands,
but these issues are just the background for the family
struggle at the forefront of the picture. This delivery
stands in stark contrast to the documentary method,
or the confrontational style of other passionate filmmakers
like Michael Moore or Oliver Stone. More
San Francisco Film Society
Hanna Eliass first feature snares its intimate
cast of characters in a tightening web of emotional
obligationsto family, self and countrywith
a classical economy of storytelling and an eye for dramatic
conflict. Mazen has just been released from an Israeli
prison for setting fire to an Israeli settlement site,
which, if finished, would have demolished his villages
all-important olive groves. His younger brother Taher
has fallen in love with the beautiful Raedaa love
keptsecret because, by tradition, older brother Mazen
must marry first.
Raedas father Muhamad, the patriarch of the groves,
is dying, and seeing in Mazens sacrifice to save
the olives a protector for the groves once hes
gone, pushes Raeda to marry Mazen. Meanwhile, theres
Raeda, torn between these two worthy brothers, but only
in love with ne of them. How does one choose between
passion, respect and obligation?
Olive Harvest shows how, for Palestinians, even a love
story is inseparable from the struggle over the land.
The olive trees, nurtured by generations, are a literal
statement that Palestinians have roots in Palestine.
Israelis are seen as the destructive intruders. The
Olive Harvest is an unparalleled opportunity to see
an impassioned Palestinian point of view to which Americans
are rarely exposed.Steve
more articles please visit 1.The
Olive Harvest 2. Hanna