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Sonia Nettnin Film Review: Going For a Ride?

Film Review: Going For a Ride?


By Sonia Nettnin


Vera Tamari's art installation of demolished cars in Ramallah, June 2002. On opening night of the exhibition, Israeli tanks circled the site and rolled over the destroyed cars (Photo courtesy of Director Nahed Awwad).

“Going For a Ride,” is a video presentation of Vera Tamari’s art installation of demolished cars, that took place in June 2002.

Through informational text, Director Nahed Awwad explains that during April 2002, the Israeli Army invaded several cities, killed people, demolished buildings and cars. In Ramallah, Israeli bulldozers crushed 600 – 700 cars. After the invasion, several men rolled fresh asphalt onto an open area for Tamari’s art installation of the smashed cars. The exhibition displayed the destruction and it was a way for the Palestinian people to cope with their tragic experiences.

In the background is a view of “Psagot,” an Israeli colony on hilltops. Settlers could see the damaged property.

On June 23, 2002, opening night of the exhibit, Israeli tanks circled the site and rolled over the flattened cars. They pushed one car down the slope and another car ignited into flames.

When cars are beyond repair, they lose their function. Moreover, people lose transportation to their jobs and schools, as well as accessibility to life activities. Awwad conveys this message by showing moving cars fading on and off the road.

Through still photos, Awwad shows that the exhibition is about the people injured and killed, as well as the damage to their personal property. People have memories of their family members and friends associated with their cars.

For example, one couple received their car on the day of their wedding. Video footage shows the bride step out of the car. After the invasion, an after shot shows the damaged car.

In the background, a man sings: “My heart melts from missing you / My suffering feels endless / Have a look at my humiliation / Have mercy on me / Have mercy on my soul.”

***

Directed, Camera and Edited by: Nahed Awwad
Art Installation: Vera Tamari
Country of Production: Palestine
Year: August 2003
Language: Arabic, with English subtitles
Minutes: 15
Music: Anouar Brahem; Mohamed Abdel Wahab
Archive Material: MBC – Ramallah

*************

Sonia Nettnin is a freelance writer. Her articles and reviews demonstrate civic journalism, with a focus on international social, economic, humanitarian, gender, and political issues. Media coverage of conflicts from these perspectives develops awareness in public opinion.

Nettnin received her bachelor's degree in English literature and writing. She did master's work in journalism. Moreover, Nettnin approaches her writing from a working woman's perspective, since working began for her at an early age.

She is a poet, a violinist and she studied professional dance. As a writer, the arts are an integral part of her sensibility. Her work has been published in the Palestine Chronicle, Scoop Media and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. She lives in Chicago.

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