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Human Relations

Posted on: January 11, 2022

Reel Time Film Series: Mayor

Mayor

The International Relations Commission’s (IRC) annual 2021-22 Reel Time Film Series wraps up with Mayor on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 7pm at the Knickerbocker Theatre. Admission is Free. 

Mayor follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. Rich with detailed observation and humor, MAYOR offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don’t have a country?

Award winning filmmaker David Osit was compelled to make the film because of what he saw as a dearth of films engaging with the Palestinian story with any complexity. “There are only a handful of films I’ve seen that focus on Palestinians’ perspectives, that seek to share the complexity of Palestinians and let a Western audience understand that these stories exist,” Osit said in an interview with Filmmaker Magazine.

“I also wanted to incorporate images that challenge the idea of what a Middle Eastern story should look like. As Americans, we have such a horrendously monolithic idea of what a Middle Eastern story can be. The sky has to look a certain way and the music has to sound a certain way, etc. The death of American consciousness about the rest of the world comes from how limited our images are of being able to perceive the rest of the world.”

Osit commented, “I feel as though Palestine may be the last bastion of American ignorance. It’s shocking to me how little people will find out about Palestine over the course of their otherwise robust global education…. When I would describe Ramallah to people and tell them that Christians were there originally, it comes as such a shock (even I was shocked when I visited the city for the first time). The first time I visited, I was asking people why Christmas was such a big deal there, and a Palestinian friend of mine told me, ‘Well, Jesus was born about ten minutes away. He’s a hometown hero.’”

For a filmography of past Reel Time Film Series, with links for viewing options, visit reeltime.cityofholland.com.  

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