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Invisible lands: The Palestine Film Festival


All of the ideas raised so far are revealed without a single word in Port of Memory, a beautiful visual poem on the cruelty of what John Berger calls the undefeated despair of the inhabitants of Yafa, and probably of all Palestinians living in Israel. What it shows is essentially visual, something no written poem could even envision. I too will not commit the crime of trying to write about the film; this is a work that can only be seen, not talked about; all that can be said is that it brings cinema to a place beyond the question of fiction, documentary and video art. Not only that; it does so as if no camera were there, or there were a camera without a man  the invisibility here is of film itself.


This film also shows that the cinematic path Elia Suleiman has excavated over the last 20 years in his films (the latest of which, The Time that Remains, opens the festival) is now a road that others may take to excavate other paths. Port of Memory is a film for which to fly over a volcano, even.