Wednesday, March 15, 2023

R21 aka Restoring Solidarity (2022) March 18 at First Look Festival 2023 at the Museum of The Moving Image

The R 21 of the title is for the 21st film reel found in Japan. The reels of film were of film showing support for the Palestinian cause. They had been sent to Japan because many Japanese saw kinship with the Palestinians because of the way they were treated after the second world war. This film is made up of clips of from the films as well a narration calling for continued resistance.

This film is a trip. As a film nerd and (semi) trained historian this film was an absolute delight. It is a look at part of history and the history of film through a lens that almost no one has looked before. The pro-Palestinian films, many of which haven’t been seen in decades open up a way of looking at the world that is new to pretty much everyone. These are simply images that we haven’t seen before with a take on “current” events we haven’t heard or considered. Its heady trip that sent me pondering all sorts of things, mostly how set our view of the Palestinian mess hasn’t changed much in years and how perhaps it should be rethought.

I loved this film. It stands apart from most modern documentaries that we see today in that it gives us a lot to chew on, most of it we have never encountered before. It’s a film that opens up our hearts and minds and demands we sit with it and it ideas and not jump to the next thing.

Highly recommended

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