Palestinian Hip-Hop screens at Ghent film fest

Palestinian hip-hopThe Ghent Film festival is screening “Sling Shot Hip Hop”, a film that follows Palestinian rappers as they try to travel through Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. The film screens on October 8, 10 and 11.  The groups are DAM from the West Bank and PR from Gaza, who try to get to meet their counterparts. The film offers yet another view of Hip-Hop as a vehicle for political thought and aspirations, offering a voice to people that are very rarely heard. Click through for details.

Interweaving multiple stories of young Palestinians in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, filmmaker Jackie Reem Salloum spotlights a vibrant hip-hop scene as emerging artists discover rap and employ it as a means to surmount age-old schisms deepened by occupation and poverty. Tamer, Mahmoud and Suhell are the charismatic artists of DAM, the first group to put Palestinian hip-hop on the map. They struggle to produce an album despite crushing poverty, progressing from their initial awkward recording attempts to triumphant sold-out shows in Europe. As politics increasingly informs their art, these young rappers evolve into community leaders and activists for social change. Trapped in Gaza, facing ongoing military attacks, the group PR (Palestinian Rapperz) hope someday to meet their fellow rappers, but separation walls and internal checkpoints prohibit access. Devastated by decades of conflict, yet armed with the music of revolution, rappers portray the hopes and dreams of a new generation of Palestinians defying the boundaries that separate them.

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