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Sat 19.8. at 17.30 | Kulttuurikellari

Jumana Manna | Palestine | 2022 | 64 min | Arabic, Hebrew | subtitles: english | Classification: K7

"This law is bullshit!" gasps a Palestinian man on trial in frustration. He has been caught collecting certain wild plants and now the result is a possible fine. The edible plants in question, akkoub, which resembles an artichoke, and za'atar, which is used in a traditional spice mix, have always been an inseparable part of his life. In the plants and in the food made from them, you can taste the heritage left behind by previous generations.


However, the Israeli administration has begun to forcefully regulate the collection of these wild plants in the occupied territories, citing endangerment and other environmental reasons. At the same time, it has promoted their commercial cultivation and processing. The politically calculated goal emerging through these actions is revealed embarrassingly effortlessly.


It is clear to the Palestinians that the regulation and criminalization of collection is yet another means of oppression. A remedy that hits a particularly sore point: taste memories and food traditions are at the core of national and ethnic identity. Collecting plants, however, forms a subtle form of resistance.


The film, which combines Jumana Manna's documentary photography with archival footage and dramatized scenes, was shot on the Golan Heights, Galilee and Jerusalem. Laconic humor pierces lingering multi-level scenes, which are enlivened by a rich soundscape.


Text: Annu Suvanto

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