Tarzan & Arab Nasser
fiction / 2016 / 84 minutes

Thirteen women find themselves trapped in a Gaza hair salon during a stand-off between police and a local gangster, in this audacious and incisive feature debut from twin brothers Tarzan and Arab Nasser.

The directorial debut of twin brothers Tarzan and Arab Nasser is a dramatic huis Clos that sketches an audacious portrait of Gaza, telling the story of thirteen women trapped together by chance.

Christine (Victoria Balitska), a Russian living in Gaza, manages a hair salon that happens to be located next door to a gang headquarters. In the courtyard between the two, maverick gangster Ahmed (co-director Tarzan Nasser) brazenly displays the lion he nabbed from the Gaza zoo.

When the Hamas-led government police stage an operation to “liberate” the lion, the situation escalates into a stand-off, and Christine is trapped inside the salon with her ten-year-old daughter, Natalie (Nelly Abou Sharaf ), assistant Wedad (Maisa Abd Elhadi), and ten customers, as bullets start flying outside. However, being caught in a crossfire doesn’t change the fact that they have weddings to prepare for, relationship problems to argue about, and, in Wedad’s case, a series of distressed phone calls to make to her boyfriend — the lion-napping gangster next door.

Dégradé revels in the women’s punchy back-and-forths as they chatter, natter, joke, tease, and bicker. The film is an incisive depiction of people living in a permanent state of siege, who must carry on with their lives as best they can even while violence rages right outside their front doors.

Impressively directed and featuring an ensemble of blazing performances, Dégradé is, at its heart, an ode to the women of Gaza: their resilience, strength, and, especially, their humour.

Thursday 26 May | 21:00 | ‘t Hoogt Utrecht


Elad Keidan
Fiction / 2015 / 105 minutes

Haifa on a sunny day. Moshe is a crumbling man walking up the Carmel Mountain on yet another work day. Will this day mark his collapse? Uri walks down the mountain to board a ship and leave behind all the things he loves and despises. His sense of belonging is losing ground. He is likely to miss his military reserve service-call, thus risking jail. Will the two collide or pass through one another? An existential comedy, where the overbearing mountain with its endless stairs takes control over destinies in this unique panorama of the Mediterranean port city.

Saturday 16 April | 21:20 | Ketelhuis

for tickets click here

Be a Nelson

Remco Geursen
Documentary / 2014 / 45 minutes

On the 21th of September,  the International Day of Peace, MasterPeace organized over 40 concerts worldwide. One of these concerts was in Amsterdam, where musicians of 14 conflict zones joined to share their stories on stage through music and dance. All these musicians use their music as a weapon for peace. They sometimes literally jump in between two disputing parties putting not only their careers, but also their lives on the line. In this movie we follow three of these remarkable and heroic stories.

Colombian peace builder César is one of these musicians. With his Escopetarra, or guitar gun, he stands up to the immense violence in the country.

The Ukrainian Markiyan. His act to position a piano in between protestants and the riot police reached the news worldwide.

And in a unique cooperation, Israeli rapper Sagol 59 and Palestinian rapper Saz draw attention to the continuous conflict.

Saturday 16 April | 12:45 | Ketelhuis

for tickets click here

directly after the screening the panel ‘Filmmaking in times of conflict’ is scheduled.

This program was made in cooperation with MasterPeace

Presenting princess Shaw

Ido Haar
documentary / 2015 / 80 minutes

In every corner of the world, at any given moment, random people post personal video clips online. They are their virtual messages in a bottle, tossed into the boundless sea that is the Internet. Most of these posts flounder in a sad limbo of indifference and anonymity—unless your YouTube handle happens to be Princess Shaw.

Samantha Montgomery, 38, lives alone in one of New Orleans’ toughest neighborhoods. By day she works as a caregiver for the elderly; at night she transforms into Princess Shaw, belting out soulful originals at sparsely attended open mic nights and posting homemade a cappella clips on YouTube, usually reaching just a handful of viewers. One of her followers happens to be Kutiman, a.k.a. Ophir Kutiel, an Israeli musician living on a kibbutz outside Tel Aviv, who mashes up YouTube videos from all over the world to create new musical pieces. Princess Shaw has no idea that he has found hers.

A rousing documentary crowd-pleaser about a star-crossed singer-songwriter and her crafty secret admirer, Presenting Princess Shaw examines loneliness, anonymity and connectivity in the Internet age, where showbiz dreams remain but a mouse-click away for even the most hardscrabble striver.

Sunday 17 April | 19:15 | Ketelhuis
Monday 18 April | 21:30 | Ketelhuis

for tickets click here

Women in sink

Iris Zaki
documentary / 2015 / 37 minutes

The northern Israeli city of Haifa is home to Fifi’s, a popular hair salon. Like many of her clients, Fifi, the owner, is an Arab Christian, but her loyal clientele also includes many Jewish women. Although they may live separately elsewhere in the country, Jews, Muslims and Christians all come together in the warm and welcoming atmosphere of this local melting pot. The Israeli filmmaker Iris Zaki placed her camera above the basin where the clients enjoy a head massage, and then asked them questions about their lives and the current political situation. The ladies come from different generations and backgrounds, and their opinions about life in Haifa and Israel vary widely, but what they have in common is their genuineness, candor and humanity. The static, minimal close-ups keep the focus on the subject – on the tough, wise and often hope-filled stories. In between the conversations, sequences showing the salon’s goings-on offer a lighter note. In the end, even Zaki lays her own head in the basin, confiding that directing the film made her feel hopeful as well. The further we’re removed from politics, the easier it gets to live together.

Friday 15 April | 19:00 | Ketelhuis + Arabic Movie double bill

for tickets click here


Women in Sink | Teaser from Iris Zaki on Vimeo.

The idol

Hany Abu-Assad
fiction / 2015 / 100 minutes

Acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise NowOmar) directs this biopic about Mohammad Assaf, the Gazan wedding singer who became a worldwide sensation after winning the Arab Idol competition in 2013.
“A coming-of-age story that takes place in the wake of tragic events in Palestine, this biopic will bring audiences laughter, tears, and a special sense of hope in the world.”- Toronto International Film Festival
Thursday 26 May | 21:00 | ‘t Hoogt Utrecht

Arabic Movie

Eyal Sagui Bizawe and Sara Tsifroni
documentary / 2015 / 60 minutes

So many Israelis still wax nostalgic about that old Friday afternoon ritual, back in the times when television had just one channel. Everyone would watch the Arab movie of the week, but did anybody ever wonder how Israel’s official TV station was able to transcend hostile boundaries to obtain these films, and why it insisted on showing movies made by “the enemy”? The Arabic-language movie from Egypt let some of us escape back to our original homeland, and let others peek out from our “villa in the jungle” and catch a glimpse of our neighbors across the border. But most of us didn’t really want to see the people whose culture, anguish, and aspirations were reflected on our screens. Arabic Movie brings us the stars and the songs, the convoluted plots, and that fleeting moment when we shared the same cultural heroes as everyone else in the Middle East. But this film about the richness and intensity of Egyptian cinema also raises some disturbing questions.

Friday 15 April | 19:00 | Ketelhuis + Women in Sink double bill
Thursday 21 April | 21:15 | ‘t Hoogt

for Ketelhuis tickets click here

Censored Voices

Mor Loushy
documentaire / 2015 / 84 minuten

One week after the 1967 ‘Six-Day War’, a group of young kibbutzniks, led by renowned author Amos Oz and Editor Avraham Shapira, recorded intimate conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. The Israeli army censored the recordings, allowing only a fragment of the conversations to be published. Censored Voices reveals these original recordings for the first time.


Saturday 9 April | 13:30 | Filmhuis Den Haag
Sunday 17 April | 17:15 | Ketelhuis

For Filmhuis Den Haag tickets click here
For Ketelhuis tickets click here

Colliding Dreams

Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky
documentary / 2015 / 134 minutes

Colliding Dreams is a feature length documentary on one of today’s most explosive issues – the question of Zionism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The film is a searching and dramatic exploration of the dream of a Jewish state and its impact on both Jews and Arabs, unfolding across the broad canvas of one hundred fifty years of history from 19th century Europe to the modern Middle East. Told through the remarkable lives and voices of Jews and Palestinians living in the Middle East today, Colliding Dreams weaves together past and present, ideas and passions, wars and peace talks, brilliant minds with the voices of ordinary citizens to develop a film portrait of sensitivity and depth like none before of the story of Zionism and its controversies.

Sunday 17 April | 11:45 | Ketelhuis + Q&A with Joseph Dorman

For Ketelhuis tickets click here


Silvina Landsmann
documentary / 2015 / 100 minutes

Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, a small Tel Aviv based NGO, works around the clock. The activists look after the rights of people without papers, give them legal advice, deal with government bureaucracy and promote public campaigns for their cause. The camera catapults us right into the midst of action. The activists are often attacked, verbally and physically. The organization has to fight both the rising xenophobic public mood and the legislation, which treats any illegal border crossing as criminal offence.

Sunday 17 April | 15:00 | Ketelhuis
Show your Hotline ticket at the counter at the Ketelhuis and receive a free ticket for the -connected to this film – panel: ‘Denk na sessie: Hannah Arendt in onze tijd’ at 13:30 hrs.

For Ketelhuis tickets click here

Trailer “Hotline” from Silvina Landsmann on Vimeo.