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Palestinian filmmaker wins Berlinale festival award

Palestinian filmmaker Raed Andoni wins the Berlinale Film Festival’s Silver Bear for best documentary for his film “Istiyad Ashbah” (“Ghost Hunting”), a reenactment by former inmates of what takes place at Israel’s main interrogation center.

Andoni, 49, recreated the interrogation room in a Ramallah basement, with former inmates discussing prison life and the humiliations they endured during detention.

According to a review in Variety, which called it an “ethically problematic documentary,” the film uses the outdated notion of acting out one’s trauma as a means of catharsis, as Andoni watched his actors verbally and physically abuse one another.

Raed Andoni, the Palestinian filmmaker whose documentary won a Silver Bear at the Berinale Film Festival (Courtesy Raed Andoni)
Raed Andoni, the Palestinian filmmaker whose documentary won a Silver Bear at the Berinale Film Festival (Courtesy Raed Andoni)

Andoni, who was himself detained at age 18, placed a newspaper ad looking for former prisoners for his film.

The film mixes graphics with live action.

Andoni’s previous film was “Fix Me.”

Jessica Steinberg

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