Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory at The Arab Film Festival
In his remarkably assured debut documentary, Ramallah-based director Mohanad Yaqubi untangles the fraught history of his homeland. With the precision and grace of the best essay films, Yaqubi uses found footage, much of it newly discovered, to trace his country's quest for self-determination, dignity, and, ultimately, peace. OFF FRAME AKA REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY builds off Yaqubi's discovery of film shot by the Palestine Film Unit, a group founded in the 1960s that saw itself as the cinematic front of the Palestinian movement. He connects their work in this tumultuous historic moment with wider trends, bringing his documentary into dialogue with the larger film world. There are parallels with Third Cinema and social realism, and Yaqubi includes footage of Jean-Luc Godard's famous visit to Palestine in the 1970s to make HERE AND ELSEWHERE (also borrowing the original title of Godard's documentary for his own: UNTIL VICTORY). Despite this rear-facing reflection, OFF FRAME isn't stuck in the past. Yaqubi brings the film full circle with contemporary footage shot in Palestine. The result is an alternate and rarely seen history, framed from Yaqubi's distinctly Palestinian perspective. Screened at the 2016 Toronto and Dubai International Film Festivals and Berlinale 2017.