An Israeli-directed film about a Palestinian rapper’s experiences as he forges his artistic path in the mixed city of Lod won Best International Feature at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday.
“Junction 48” – whose film is all in Arabic and features mostly Palestinian actors – tells the story of a Palestinian rap star and his girlfriend who live near Tel Aviv in the mixed Jewish-Palestinian city of Lod, known until recently as one of the main drug-running centers of the Middle East.
In February, the film won the top audience award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Ahead of a screening of his film at the festival, the director was caught on camera criticizing the current Israeli government, which he called “fascist,” according to a report on Channel 10 news.
He also urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to stop providing Israel with submarines to advance its policies.
On February, actress Samar Qupty said it should be easy for Palestinians to identify with the movie, even though it depicts people living lives that are radically different from strict Muslim traditions.
Her character, for example, allows a picture of her face to be used on a poster advertising a hip-hop concert, prompting members of her family to say they plan to injure her if she performs.
“It’s still a revolutionary movie because it doesn’t talk about the way we Palestinians are usually represented in the world,” Qupty said.
“We are representing ourselves by the new generation without trying to prove anything to anyone, with our ‘goods’ and ‘bads’,” she told Reuters in an interview. “We are trying to present what is the real new generation trying to do without making the reality looking any better or any worse.”