Tuškanac Cinema / Tuesday, 16 May / 5 pm

Foragers /

Palestine, 2022, 64'
Director: Jumana Manna · Screenplay: Jumana Manna · Photography: Marte Vold, Ashraf Dowani, Yaniv Linton· Editing: Jumana Manna, Katrin Ebersohn · Production: Jumana Manna

The third film by Jumana Manna, a visual artist of Palestine descent, illustrates how foraging for wild edible plants becomes a non-violent act of resistance for Palestinians against the Israeli regime. The restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like ’akkoub and za’atar (thyme), and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants. Filmed in the Golan Hights, Galilee and Jerusalem, the film combines fiction with documentary elements with archive footage in order to portray the influence of Israeli nature conservation laws to this practice. For Palestinians, these restrictions constitute nothing but an ecological veil for malicious legislation and demonstration of Israeli’s economic power, further alienating them from their land, while Israeli state representatives insist on their scientific expertise and duty to protect nature. Jumana Manna follows the greens from wilderness to the kitchen table, from illegal foraging to the chases and the resulting trials. In Foragers, the director captures the joy and knowledge entrenched in these traditions, as well as resistance of the Palestinian people to the oppressive prohibition. The film studies the politics of conservation and ruination, and with a fine sense of irony poses the question about who determines what is made extinct and what gets to live on. (DP)

Awards and festivals: 

Visions du Réel (2022) – world premiere; Dokufest Kosovo (2022) – Green Dox Award; Open City Film Festival (2022); Dok Leipzig (2022); IDFA (2022)

Jumana Manna was born in New Jersey in 1987. She studied at California Institute of the Arts and National Art Academy in Oslo. Her documentary debut, A Magical Substance Flows Into Me (2016), dealt with the heritage of the German-Jewish ethnomusicologist Robert Lachmann, who in the 1930s researched the Palestinian musical traditions on his radio show Oriental Music. Her award-winning second film, Wild Relatives, was screened at the 11th Subversive Film Festival.