Israeli-Palestinian Hip-Hop Film Wins Audience Award in Berlin, Entertainment News & Top Stories


BERLIN (REUTERS) – An Arabic-language hip-hop film starring predominantly Palestinian actors and directed by an Israeli won the People’s Favorite award at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday.

Junction 48 by director Udi Aloni won the Audience Panorama Award for Best Fiction Film.

The film Who will love me now? by Tomer and Barak Heymann was voted Best Panorama Documentary.

Junction 48 tells the story of a Palestinian rap star and his girlfriend who live near Tel Aviv in the mixed Judeo-Palestinian town of Lod, known until recently as one of the main trafficking centers of drug from the Middle East.

Actress Samar Qupty said it should be easy for Palestinians to relate to the film, even though it portrays people living lives radically different from strict Muslim traditions.

Her character, for example, allows a photo of her face to be used on a poster advertising a hip-hop concert, prompting her family members to say that they are considering hurting her if she does perform.

“It’s still a groundbreaking film because it doesn’t talk about how we Palestinians are generally portrayed in the world,” Qupty said.

“We represent ourselves by the new generation without trying to prove anything to anyone, with our ‘good’ and ‘bad’,” she told Reuters in an interview.

“We’re trying to showcase what the real new generation is trying to do without making reality better or worse.”

Director Aloni was pleased with the audience’s reactions.

“We’re all so optimistic because we’ve also brought young kids that we’ve given them tickets to, you know, 20, who don’t know anything about us and they love it.

“So probably the choice to have Tamer, he’s so charismatic, and hip-hop that’s so universal, that was a really good move.”

Singer Nafar doesn’t expect everyone in the Middle East to like the film, but he is confident it will open a debate.

“It’s going to open a scene and I think it’s very important and the film is not there to give solutions, the film is there to raise the right questions,” he said.

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