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Le Cantique des pierres
© Sourat films

Deux Palestiniens s'étaient rencontrés au début des années 70 et aimés avec passion et profondeur... Elle était originaire de Galilée, lui de Cisjordanie. Les événements de l'Histoire les ont séparés durant plus de quinze années (il fut emprisonné par les forces israéliennes ; elle émigra aux États-Unis). C'est durant le déclenchement de l'Intifada, dans les territoires occupés, qu'ils vont se revoir et leur amour renaître...

In the early seventies, two Palestinians meet in Jerusalem and fall in love : he is from the West bank and she from the Galilee. But their relationship will only last a fortnight, after which he is arrested by the Israelis and imprisoned for life for taking part in the Palestinian Resistance. Bitter and disappointed, she decides to immigrate to America. Fifteen years later, they meet again at the height of the Intifada, and their passion is rekindled... In Michel Khleifi's award-winning film, the love-story is constantly penetrated by events from the Intifada, which are filmed in documentary form. The result is an overwhelming mixture of live footage and narrative, violence and poetry. The two lovers recount their stories, filing in the gaps of fifteen in the gaps of fifteen years of separation and unfulfilled love. "Canticle of the Stones" is a film about the enormous pain experienced by the people of Palestine during their seven-year revolt against Israeli occupation. But it is also a film about sacrifice, whereby each character, whether real or fictive, has had to give something up in order to survive the torment inflicted by the Occupation. "It seems as if man cannot but lose something in order to regain his dignity", says Khleifi, "as if it is only possible to realise the absurdity of his violence after he has been overwhelmed by his wounds. Must we reach the borders of genocide in order to rethink the world ? Is there no way in which the victim does not turn butcher ? By mixing elements of reality with a fictional love-story, my intention was to oppose the perception of the "Other" as indispensable abstraction and to give expression to the pain and torment through which Palestinians were living"