Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Bassam al-Jarbawi

Sector : Media, Directors

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Palestine
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 0
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“Screwdriver” by director Bassam Al-Jarbawi presents an amazing cinematic image and a mature vision
There are few Palestinian films that combine beautiful and dazzling artistic work with presenting the issue with a conscious humanitarian, political and social vision. Many films fall into the trap of directness and familiar discourse, and screams that do not reach the world, while the film “Screwdriver”, which was shown at the El Gouna Film Festival by the young Palestinian director, comes Bassam Al-Jarbawi and his heroes Jamil Khoury, Areen Omri and Ziad Bakri, a Palestinian-American production, to present a non-stereotypical image of the Palestinian prisoner, but it clearly addresses the suffering of the prisoner after his liberation and how he adapts to life, in a journey that is honest in its feelings and purpose. The topic here is different, as we only witnessed a mere scene. Or two tortures, but they did not form the backbone of the argument. Rather, it is how our hero lives his life after many years of staying in Israeli prisons.
The events of the film begin in the year 1992. Our hero is Ziad, who loves the basketball team in the Jalazoun camp for Palestinian refugees, north of the city of Ramallah. He and his friends are trying to take revenge for the violations committed by the occupier, especially after the killing of one of his friends, “Ramzi,” by a bullet from the Israeli settlements. While news circulates on the radio about the failure of US Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit, Ziad, with his anger increasing, participates in shooting a man he believes to be Israeli. He is arrested and imprisoned for 15 years, after which he emerges a different person who cannot adapt to his surroundings.
Despite the warm reception from the people of the region and his treatment as a hero by his family, the street, and friends who celebrate him... his life turns upside down. After his release from prison, he finds himself facing a reality that is difficult for him to adapt to mentally and psychologically, which affects his relationship with his mother and Salma, the camp’s daughter, who is trying To move his heart, and his sister who encourages him to bond.
Palestinian-American documentary filmmaker Mina, who was making a documentary about him, wants to capture stories to convey to the world. She says: The goal of her film is to draw the world’s attention to sympathy with the Palestinian people. As for him, he tells her: She lives in America, where there is no occupation, while He spent fifteen years in prison.
In his first experience with feature-length cinema, the director, who also wrote the screenplay, presented an amazing cinematic image, through a narration devoid of slogans. He only presented his hero’s emotions and pain, and how he complains of chronic headaches, urinary retention, panic from light, and any fluids that remind him of the scene of blood when his childhood friend was assassinated with the utmost precision. He was tampered with by a settler, as the face of his martyr friend remained stuck in his head. He also came out into the light after he had become accustomed to the darkness of prisons, so he had hallucinations that lived with him and prevented him from practicing and experiencing the details of daily life normally, and his pain came as a symbol of what he saw and lived.
He remembers in prison when an Israeli soldier interrogated him, threatening to bring his mother and attack her, telling him that the man they injured but did not kill was not Israeli, but rather an Arab. Without a doubt, the performance of our hero “Ziyad Bakri” was wonderful as he faced this conflict by embodying a character that embodies all the problems and suffering that he faced. The Palestinian prisoner after his liberation, and the director was also able to embody that suffering to the outside world and to us with that one character who rebels against the psychiatrist who treats him and rejects the idea that he is psychologically disturbed.
The film, which is the first work to deal with the life of a detainee after his release from the occupation prisons, is biased towards the homeland with its simplicity in telling the story, but the depth emerges between the scenes, as the issue was not just injustice and throwing the Palestinian youth into prison arbitrarily, but to what extent this later affected these youth.
In one of the film's fatalistic scenes, our hero's coincidence leads him to ride with an Israeli settler who hates all Arabs, and even wants to exterminate them. Indeed, it is as if the settler believes that Ziad is Israeli, and here Ziad has a feeling of revenge for his wasted years and for his childhood friend who was treacherously martyred, so the director cleverly expresses that the case continues in its spirit. , so he left the ending of the film open; To leave the viewer with the feeling of continuing the story, and we do not know whether the settler will kill Ziad the liberator, who is still living in the state of captivity that destroyed him psychologically, or whether Ziad will kill the settler... All scenarios are open.
But the film also pointed out, with its realism, that whoever lives in Palestine is as if he is living in a large prison, even if he lives outside the occupation prisons.

The film director has a great awareness of the issue, and has a mature vision. He wanted to return to his homeland after studying cinema in Colombia to present films that mimic reality and are not alienated from it - according to him. He and his wife, actress and producer Yasmine Al-Qadoumi, decided to produce “Screwdriver”, and refused to film his film inside. Prisons, and he said that he faced great difficulty filming in the occupied territories under the complex circumstances.
He added: “I sat with a large number of liberated prisoners, and I was asking to meet them within the two or three days following their release from prison so that I could learn about their personal problems and form the image I wanted to present. Most of the events of the film were filmed in Al-Amari camp and the city of Ramallah with a crew - 99 Palestinians constitute percent of it - and without the people, the film would not have been possible. They opened their homes and left them for us so that we could film freely. For our part, we were keen to have as many of them work with us in the film so that we could help them.”
This is truly an important experience for the young Palestinian director Bassam Al-Jarbawi, after his short film “Russ Judge,” which won the Arab Muhr Award from the Dubai Film Festival.


Achievements and Awards

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