Documentary film screening series continues Tuesday

LAKE PLACID — This Tuesday a three-part documentary series at St. Eustace Church in Lake Placid, “Plants, People, and Apartheid,” will conclude with a free public screening of the 2022 film “Foragers” by internationally renowned visual artist Jumana Manna.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and will culminate in a voluntary, mediated discussion about the film’s themes and the current conflict in the Middle East.

As with the first (“My Tree”) and second (“Flying Paper”) parts of the film series, donations will be collected to support families attempting to evacuate the active war-zone in Gaza. Nearly a thousand dollars has been raised through the series so far, and the organizers hope to up the total with the third and final film.

“Foragers” — which is not available in theatres or on streaming platforms but has been shown at countless film festivals all across the world, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art and Ohio State University’s prestigious Wexner Center for the Arts — depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine/Israel with wry humor and a meditative pace. As the screening is a fundraiser, the organizers have been given permission by filmmaker Manna to show “Foragers” in this one-time exclusive showing.

Shot in the Golan Heights, the Galilee and Jerusalem, the film employs fiction, documentary and archival footage to portray the impact of Israeli nature protection laws on these customs.

The restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like akkoub andza’atar (thyme), and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants.

For those who can’t make it to the screening, there will be a free teach-in to serve as an introduction to the history of Palestine held at the Saranac Lake Free Library on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m., called “What the Olive Trees Know.”

The organizers

At the start of 2024, a group of concerned residents of towns across the Adirondacks began gathering weekly at 15 Broadway, Saranac Lake to write and send postcards, letters and poems to U.S. elected officials urging them to support a ceasefire in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. The weekly effort — called “PS: Letters for Ceasefire” — takes place Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. at 15 Broadway, Saranac Lake. All supplies are provided and all ages are welcome.

One hundred percent of donations collected at the film screenings will support three families attempting to evacuate from and survive day-to-day in Gaza as they work to access visas, travel fare, food and other necessary supplies. Organizers of this event have personal connections involved with each of these campaigns.

A registration form for all three films (registrants can select which they plan to attend) can be found here at https://forms.gle/vEVXZP912VB2Mn7T9.


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