Limitless Cinema in Broken English

January 3, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 11:17 pm

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at



My poll 43 is inspired by the recent news about Gaza. It makes me feel very sad. When will it ever stop? Why do human beings never learn?

Choosing the films for this poll is the easiest one for me, because these are all the films that I have seen which concern Palestine.


1.THE ACCORD (2005, Nicolas Wadimoff + Beatrice Guelpa)
This is a documentary which I truly love. It begins with a great hope for peace, and ends with the hope being destroyed (though not completely). This is a tremendously feel-bad film for me, and it becomes a feel-bad film because it is a documentary which portrays the truth about this sad world we live in.

2.AL QUEDA R US (2002, Wafaa Bilal)
This harrowing documentary concerns the foreign policies of USA, including the policy on Palestine. It made me cry after I had watched it at Conference of Birds Gallery.

3.THE BARBECUE PEOPLE (2003, Yossi Madmoni + David Ofek)
I’m not sure if the Palestine issue can be considered the main issue of this film or not.

4.CLOSE TO HOME (2005, Dalia Hager + Vidi Bilu)

5.DIRTY PICTURES (2007, John Smith)
I think CLOSE TO HOME and DIRTY PICTURES have one thing similar. Both of them show the suffering of Palestinians by voice or sound, not by images. At the end of CLOSE TO HOME, a Palestinian guy is beaten up, though we can’t see it. We can only hear it. In DIRTY PICTURES, John Smith tells us verbally about the suffering of some Palestinians, while we can see only his hotel room and that wall.

6.DIVINE INTERVENTION (2002, Elia Suleiman)
This is one of my most favorite films of all time.

7.FORD TRANSIT (2002, Hany Abu-Assad)
I like the ending of this film very much.

8.THE INNER TOUR (2001, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz)
The old Palestinian guy in this documentary made me cry.

9.JERUSALEM: THE EAST SIDE STORY (2007, Mohammed Alatar)
This film may not have much aesthetic value, but it is a good informative film.

10.LEMON TREE (2008, Eran Riklis)

11.MUNICH (2005, Steven Spielberg)


13.PARADISE NOW (2005, Hany Abu-Assad)

14.PRIVATE (2004, Saverio Costanzo)
I like the intensity in this film very much.

I like some ideas of Edward Said in this film very much.

16.A SLIM PEACE (2007, Yael Luttwak)
I just thought about this film in early December 2008. At that time, I was very depressed with the political situation in Thailand. I found it hard to smile or to be happy at that time. Then, I think about the Palestinian woman in this documentary. She seems very cheerful, very energetic. How can she look so cheerful like that while she is living in Palestine and has to go through tremendous ordeal while traveling? I think my situation was arguably still better than her situation. So if she can be cheerful like that in her situation, I may be able to deal with my emotion like her too.

17.THIRST (2003, Tawfik Abu Wael)

18.WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2008, Ari Folman)

19.WEDDING IN GALILEE (1987, Michel Khleifi)

20.A WEDDING IN RAMALLAH (2002, Sherine Salama)

You can cast multiple votes.

 Giles Ungpakorn wrote in Thai about Palestine in Prachatai website:


You can


  1. This is my reply to Wisekwai and Filmsick in my bilingual blog:

    –Wisekwai, I also like the song by Natacha Atlas very much. I think DIVINE INTERVENTION seems to contain 100 classic scenes in it, and that scene is one of the classic scenes for me—the scene in which the hero makes eye contact with another driver while that song by Natatcha Atlas is playing. Both drivers seem to understand each other (or maybe the pain of each other) without using any words.

    –Thank you for your comment, Filmsick. WALTZ WITH BASHIR is a film which leaves me a long-lasting effect. When I made my list of favorite animation this year. I wanted to include all of the three famous animations–WALTZ WITH BASHIR, PERSEPOLIS, SITA SINGS THE BLUES—in my top ten list. But there seems to be only one spot left. So I choose WALTZ WITH BASHIR, because its sober mood seems to have some effects on me. I extremely liked PERSEPOLIS and SITA SINGS THE BLUES when I saw them, but after a while, my excited feelings for these two films seem to decrease a bit.

    Comment by celinejulie — January 4, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

  2. This is my reply to Renegade Eye and Filmsick in my bilingual blog:

    –Renegade Eye, I haven’t seen both THE WRESTLER and GRAN TORINO, but I hope to see them soon. THE WRESTLER is available now in Bangkok as illegal DVDs. I want to see GRAN TORINO, because Zach Campbell wrote that it is interesting and special.

    –Filmsick, I like YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (2008, Dennis Dugan, A) much more than other comedies. I agree with a critic (maybe Kong Rithdee from Bangkok Post) who wrote that some ideas in this film are naïve, but the film still has some good things in it. I also think that you can view this film in two different ways. This film may not be extremely satisfying if you want it to be as good as those serious films dealing with the problem of Palestine-Israel, but if you compare this film with other American comedies, I think this film is satisfying. I think that this film is bolder than many comedies, and may represent a step in the right direction for some entertaining films. I think the target group of this film is not those people who worry about the peace in the Middle East and already have some knowledge about it, but the target group of this film is general audience who want to laugh, and this film may be successful in making those general audience more concerned about this important issue. Thus, the naivete of this film is excusable.

    Talking about serious issues in mainstream entertaining films, that reminds me of some films like:

    1.DEEP IN THE JUNGLE (2008, Teerawat Rujeenatham, B+ )

    I think this film includes the issues of political oppression in Myanmar and the Burmese immigrants in Thailand, but I don’t think the film is really successful in dealing with these issues. But it is still good that it tries to talk about these problems.

    2.BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHAU (2008 , Raja Gosnell, A-)

    I guess this film may deal with some Mexican problems and some class issues, though the film is not really serious in talking about these problems. It focuses on being entertaining, and I think it is successful in being just another average good-hearted entertaining film.

    3.BEDTIME STORIES (2008, Adam Shankman, B+ )
    4.THE HOUSE BUNNY (2008, Fred Wolf, A-)

    These two films are the reasons why I think YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN is bolder than average. I think BEDTIME STORIES and THE HOUSE BUNNY are entertaining, but some messages in these two films, such as “DON’T BE CAPITALISTIC” or “YOU MUST BE YOURSELF”, are boring messages. Some comedies still preach the same thing they preached 50 years ago. YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN deserves some credits for having something new in it.

    Comment by celinejulie — January 5, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

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