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20/09/2017 - 19:53hs

Brazilian travels across Palestine and produces film

Cassiana Pizaia and Vinícius Sgarbe, two journalists, produced the documentary ‘Trip across Palestine’, which goes beyond the conventional tourism in the country. Launching will be in Curitiba (PR).

Cassiana Pizaia

The journalist Cassiana Pizaia in Jerusalem

São Paulo – The documentary Trip across Palestine, produced by two Brazilian journalists, will open at the Curitiba Cinemateca on Sunday (24). Places rather unknown to tourists and even to local people are the highlight of the movie, which aims to portray a Palestine that many hear about, but few actually get to see.

The images were shot by Cassiana Pizaia, a Brazilian married to a man of Palestine descent and that, after hearing so much stories and testimonies from the place, decided to explore it beyond the territories uncovered by the tourists. “Eighteen years ago I travelled to the region and, despite liking it very much, I only did the traditional tourism: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Gaza,” says the journalist, who worked many years at Organizações Globo.

To have been there awakened even more Pizaia’s curiosity, who started to search further information on the internet and in talks with her husband, Ualid Rabah, whom she met after the trip. “But it’s hard to find images of certain places even on Google. It left me a bit uneasy: there’s lot of things in Palestine, but little is known and what one is able to see,” says Pizaia.

Cassiana Pizaia

Image of the Mar Saba Monastery, near Bethlehem

Early this year the opportunity to return to the place arose. Her sister-in-law, Ruayda Rabah, moved there – she now heads the Council of Brazilian Citizens of Palestine. Pizaia had no doubt: she took filming equipment and organized a trip from the country’s North to South, going well beyond the conventional tourism.

With her sister-in-law serving as assistant and interpreter and a hired driver, the journalist entered Palestine via Jordan and visited Jerusalem, Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and villages around Bethlehem, plus she ventured out in the desert. “I went to Jericho, the world oldest city and that is a true oasis, right in the middle of the desert,” she says. In the way, she would stop at villages and talked to the local citizens, who helped her give form to the documentary.

“Actually, the documentary was created during the trip. I went there without being sure I was going to do it, if it was going to work,” explains the journalist, recalling the obstacles. “The hiring of the driver, who knew the local roads, was crucial, because not even the local routes Google is able to map. He sends you out of the territory and later sends you back in, suggests many unnecessary turns,” she says.

Cassiana Pizaia

Ruins of Jericho, the oldest city in the world

During the trip’s ten days, Pizaia shot over 20 hours of films, which were compiled in a 23-minutes documentary. During post-production, she received the help of Vinicius Sgarbe, another journalist that, according to her, was crucial for the film to be completed.

Trip across Palestine was presented at the Cataratas Tourism Festival in June in Foz do Iguaçu (PR). Now, it will open in theaters at the capital of Paraná state. According to the journalist, the idea is to schedule other screenings throughout Brazil and, later, launch it on the internet.

The larger goal, however, is already been achieved, according to Pizaia: her personal satisfaction. “I would like for people to get to know Palestine more deeply, a region that is talked about a lot and little of it is understood, there’s a great deal of prejudice. It’s a personal project and the goal is being achieved,” says the journalist, who is planning other documentaries about the region.

Quick info
Launching of Trip across Palestine
Sunday, September 24, at 7 pm
Where: Cinemateca of Curitiba – Street Presidente Carlos Cavalcanti, 1174
Free admission

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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