What inspired like twenty impossibles is the continued fragmentation of us as Palestinians – how through the imposition of endless checkpoints and military barriers throughout our own land we have been separated from each other and also criminalized for the mere act of attempting freedom of movement – the right to travel from one place to another. Aside from the creation of arbitrary borders, this fragmentation has also been imposed through the identity cards that Palestinians carry. These ID cards further separate Palestinians from each other by labeling them as a “West Banker”, “Jerusalemite”, “Israeli citizen”, “American citizen”, or “Gazan”, rather than allowing us our collective identity as Palestinians. I was also interested in exploring that fact that these various “labels” also give each individual different rights and privileges depending on what their ID is. In like twenty impossibles, a group of Palestinian filmmakers begin their journey by making a film together and working as any ordinary film crew would – with a director, an actor, cinematographer, soundperson, etc. By the end of the film, because of these realities, a totally different situation exists.
It seemed quite natural that just as the elements of film cannot work when separated from each other (sound, picture, the actor etc), so does the breakdown of communication and of unity amongst the crew of Palestinians themselves once they are separated from each other. By the end of the film, the entire thing falls apart; with sound separated from image, the actor arrested, and the director leaving. I found that cinema was a perfect metaphor for what is happening in Palestine today and has been happening for the last 57 years. By the end of the film, because all the elements are torn from each other – there is no film. There cannot be a film.
I am interested in exploring another kind of violence: the mundane violence of military occupation and the ‘nothingness’ that happens. That is where this film comes from.
Annemarie Jacir (Jordan) has been working in independent film since 1994 and has written, directed, and produced a number of films including A Post Oslo History (1998), The Satellite Shooters (2001), like twenty impossibles (2003) and most recently Salt of this Sea. She has taught courses at Columbia, Bethlehem, and Birzeit Universities. She also works as a freelance editor and cinematographer and teaches cinema to children in two refugee camps. She is a founder and chief curator of the groundbreaking “Dreams of a Nation” cinema project. She is listed in Filmmaker magazine as one of the “Top 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema. Salt of this Sea (2008) is her first feature film and her second work to debut at Cannes Film Festival. Having been banned from returning to Palestine, she now lives in Jordan. She is in development on a new film.