Two Meters of This Land
PALESTINE / 2012 / Arabic, English, French / Color, B&W / Blu-ray / 80 min
Director, Script, Editing, Producer: Ahmad Natche
Photography: Rosibel Rojas
Sound: Waleed Agel, Nadeem El Husary, Nicolas Tsabertidis
Source: Ahmad Natche, Turab Films www.turabfilms.com
One evening, near the tombstone of Mahmoud Darwish in Ramallah, the preparations for a Palestinian music festival are underway. TV crews get ready for broadcast, students wait for their call, performers rehearse, and people work the backstage. There is a student who wants to become a journalist and a Japanese photographer. Everyone performs their role—people come together and then separate. Conversation flies back and forth in multiple languages, and while everyday tales intersect, the time and space leading up to this performance is evoked in a unique filmic world.
[Director’s Statement] Summer is the season for outdoor popular music festivals in many Palestinian cities, with music and dance groups—famous and not—usually followed by journalists and TV cameras. During one summer, I went to several concerts about three hours before the shows started to see what happened. There I found little stories suggested by the movements of the people working there—journalists, technicians, and musicians. These stories are given no place in the media in Palestine.
A music festival is an exceptional context that happens once a year, but I felt it could reflect some situations that its characters face in their everyday lives. I was also very interested in working with the concept of show, of showing. What is given to see in any musical or dance show and what is hidden from the public could be an interesting subject for filmmaking.
The main character of this film is not a person, but a space, and the way that space is occupied and unoccupied. This seems to me the great subject of life in Palestine. It is a film about watching a place, a place that is filled and emptied of people during one particular moment.
The action of the film takes place near the tomb of the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. And my vision as a film director is closer to the poet’s. I try to focus on actions that may not be visible for everybody and to give them form and significance not through words, but through pictures and sounds, creating an experience that should be more sensory than intellectual.
Ahmad Natche was born in Seville, Spain in 1974 to a Palestinian father. He studied Audiovisual Communication at the University of Seville and Film Editing at the International Film and TV School of San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV), Cuba. In Cuba he directed The Foreigner (2000)––Best Fiction short film at the FAD Awards in Barcelona, Piano for Sale (2000), Zoia (2001), and the medium-length documentary Each Fish in Its Own Pond (2007). As an editor he received the Best Editing Film award at the Icaro Central American Film and Video Festival 2007 for Dear Camilo (2007), also honored as the best Central American documentary film. He is also a film critic and has written for several film magazines. Two Meters of this Land (2012) is his first feature film, which premiered at the International Competition of the FID Marseille 2012 and was awarded a special mention by the jury.