ATHENS – Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip against Hamas fighters who killed some 1,400 Israelis in October raids is a touchy subject, dividing people, but it’s not stopping a planned film about Palestinian refugees in Greece.
The producers said they were worried that hatred between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli camps around the world would lead the the movie being halted but said it’s going to be finished, reported Variety.
That means the Palestine/U.K./Greece and European co-production Men in the Sun, due to close financing at the Red Sea Film Festival, is expected to finish post-production in London by May 2024.
Producer Geoff Arbourne said it would be premiered at “a major international film festival,” without giving more details, before the news that it was going ahead even as Israel continues to bomb Gaza and hunt for Hamas’ terrorists.
“There was consternation when the conflict started, but in the end production, which started five weeks ago, was only delayed by a day,” the UK-based Arbourne of Inside Out Films, told Variety at the festival.
“We started shooting in Athens a week ago and shall wrap by mid-December, when post-production begins in London,” he said, the locations in Greece’s capital not revealed, as there have been protests downtown over the war.
The film, directed by Dubai-born Mahdi Fleifel, is about two Palestinian refugees living in Athens who become caught up in a hostage situation after seeking to take revenge on the human smugglers who ripped them off.
It draws on Fleifel’s experience of documenting the lives of refugees living on the margins of Greek society over the past decade and will be released with a different title not given yet.
It is backed by ARTE/ZDF, the Doha Film Institute, Red Sea Fund and national funds in the Netherlands and Greece among others, with Greece not indicating whether Palestinian refugees would be welcome while opening to Israelis.