An image: A people crosses a broken bridge. Their flight across the remnants of the Allenby Bridge in June 1967 is spurred by memories of the horrors of 1948. But rather than a memory, this latest crossing is now entering the eternal present, becoming a timeless celluloid incantation—part mantra, part curse. A people now crosses a broken bridge in perpetuity, endlessly rehearsing their traversal—“actors” called up repeatedly to bear the signifying burden of shifting filmic pedagogies.
Al-Jisser is a mixed media project aimed at disclosing and disrupting this cine-historic dynamic. Combining film research practices, video manipulation, and critical texts, it questions ideas of “ownership” and “autonomy” in relation to historic moving images.
A cinema research and production initiative that aims to cast new light upon historic works related to Palestine and the region, to engender support for film preservation, and to investigate archival practices and effects. Other projects developed by Subversive Film to explore this cine-historic field include the digital reissuing of previously overlooked films, the curation of rare film screening cycles, and the translation and subtitling of rediscovered films. Subversive Film was formed in 2010 by Nick Denes, Reem Shilleh, and Mohanad Yaqubi.