Twin Cities Arab Film Festival 2023

R 21 aka Restoring Solidarity & Tokyo Reels

Expired October 2, 2023 5:00 AM
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From the 1960s to the 1980s, many radical left-wing movements across the globe aligned with the growing struggle for Palestinian self-determination, and these movements inspired filmmakers in Europe, Japan, and the SWANA region. Recently, a cache of 20 films made in this era were discovered in Tokyo and dubbed the "Tokyo Reels." R 21 is the 21st reel, and in it, filmmaker Mohannad Yacoubi and his team edit together various scenes from this incredibly diverse archive, which detail and engage with different aspects of the Palestinian liberation struggle. In addition to R 21's overview and detailed account of the restoration process, this film segment includes three of our favorite films from the Tokyo Reels collection.

Cowboy uses the images from American cinema to expose the country’s settler colonial structure and its ability to depict genocidal acts through camera framing. The film, directed by the renowned Egyptian film critic Sami Al-Salamoni, reflects his theoretical critique of Hollywood through heavily edited scenes and shots from mainstream motion pictures. Al-Salamoni manages to take the audience through the history of commercialized image production towards a transnational solidarity image production as a response. This film was recovered as a part of a cache of archival films about various aspects of the Palestinian liberation movements that were found in Tokyo and therefore dubbed the “Tokyo Reels.”

  • Year
  • Runtime
    15 minutes
  • Language
    No dialogue
  • Country
    Egypt, Palestine, Japan
  • Director
    Sami Al-Salamoni