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Return to Haifa (12A)

London Palestine Film Festival 2022

A woman and soldier look on

Kassem Hawal’s adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani’s novella, Return to Haifa, is a rarely seen gem.

This seminal allegory tells the story of Safia and Saeed who were expelled from their home in Haifa in 1948 and forced to leave their 5-month-old son, Khaldoun, behind. Twenty years on, with the 1967 War, the couple are finally able to travel to Haifa. They discover that Khaldoun, now 20-year-old Dov, was adopted by Jewish immigrants and has recently enlisted in the Israeli army.

The story, and the film, which remains true to Kanafani’s style and purpose, proceeds to pursue impossible questions: who is the real mother? Who is the real father? What is a homeland, and whose is it?

Today, 50 years after the assassination of Kanafani, we present this newly-restored, classic literary adaptation, followed by a ScreenTalk with the director.

Palestine 1982 Dir Kassem Hawal 77 mins

The screening has been locally classified.

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Cinema 2