Write down I am an Arab.
"Write down I am an Arab", a documentary by filmmaker Ibtisam Mara'ana about the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
Mahmoud Darwish, considered by many to be the most influential writer in the Arab world. His words were used by the Palestinian nation and the larger Arab community to express their yearning for a shattered homeland. His writing inspired millions, shaped Palestinian identity and helped galvanize generations to their cause. After fleeing northern Galilee as a boy during the violence of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Darwish returned as a young man to a ruined village and certain arrest. One of his first and most important poems, Identity Card, resulted in his imprisonment and turned him into an icon of resistance. Menuhin’s artful use of rich archival footage, interviews and Darwish’s poetry and personal letters animates this heartbreaking and inspiring story of love, loss and hope.
It happened so that I have been touching on Darwish's poems a lot lately. It started with me writing the music for the theatrical piece inspired by his work (Eyes), where I re-composed some of the all so familiar poems that I grew up on and that were originally composed and performed by the legendary Marcel Khalife. The idea was to bring the poems up to date, to treat the texts as something that is relevant to this day and not only as a relic of the past. The songs took even a more updated and modern shape in the score of the movie with the help of my dear friend and accompanying guitarist for the last few years Shay Alon who worked with me on this score.
The film is going to be screened at hotdocs film festival in Toronto on April 27, 29 and May 4. And in docaviv film festival in Tel-Aviv on May 9, 12, 15, 17.