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Wednesday, August 23
(1977, DCP, 72m) dir Mustafa Abu Ali, Jean Khalil Chamoun, Pino Adriano. Tall el-Zaatar documents the August 12, 1976 massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese refugees at Tall el-Zaatar, a UN-administered refugee camp in northeast Beirut. Produced after the massacre, but featuring footage shot before and during the siege, Tall el-Zaatar reconstructs the history of the camp and recounts the long months of assault and resistance through the voices of many surviving men, women and children.
Tall el-Zaatar was produced in two versions: one in Arabic for the Palestinian Cinema Institution of the PLO in Beirut, and the other dubbed into Italian for TV broadcast. Arabic film prints were damaged and lost following the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent plundering of PLO archives. Between 2012 and 2014, filmmaker Monica Maurer and artist Emily Jacir rediscovered the rushes of the film, including the original soundtrack in Arabic, which were kept at the Audiovisual Archive of the Democratic and Labour Movement (AAMOD) in Rome. Maurer and Jacir dedicated themselves to salvaging the rushes, restoring and digitizing them in order to make the film available to the public and safeguard these images as part of Palestinian collective memory.