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DDocumentary Competition

The Wanted 18

The Wanted 18

Director: Paul CowanAmer Shomali
Palestine, Canada, France, United Arab Emirates | Arabic, English, Hebrew
2014 | 75min.
Subtitles: Arabic, English
Format: DCP
It is 1988, the still hopeful days of the first Palestinian Intifada (1987–93), and Palestinians are engaged in a civil disobedience campaign against the Israeli occupation. To bolster their boycott of Israeli taxation and commodities, residents of Beit Suhour founded a collective farm. This set the stage for the purchase of 18 dairy cows from a nearby kibbutz, so that villagers could produce and distribute their own milk. Though they have no knowledge of commercial dairy production, the farm is a remarkable success, becoming a model for Palestinian civil resistance. The occupation authority fears this sort of resistance far more than stone-throwing youth, which is why Israel’s military governor orders the confiscation of the cows, declaring them “a danger to the security of the state of Israel.' Beit Suhour must take its cows underground. This bittersweet tale of imaginative resistance to an absurd occupation is the subject of Paul Cowan and Amer Shomali’s charming documentary hybrid. Combining testimonial recollection, fictional recreation and stop-motion animation reminiscent of Shaun the Sheep, the documentary recounts the story of Beit Suhour from the perspective its activist/residents, two Israeli veterans sent to dismantle the farm and Rikva, Ruth, Lola and Goldie, four of the 18 unintentionally subversive bovines. —Jim Quilty

Director,  Paul Cowan, 

Director,  Paul Cowan

Veteran Canadian documentarian Paul Cowan received an Oscar nomination for his 1979 doc Going the Distance. He also directed the controversial docudrama The Kid Who Couldn’t Miss, and was the cinematographer for the Oscar-winning 1983 short Flamenco at 5:15. A Palestinian born in Kuwait in 1981 and now based in Ramallah, Amer Shomali uses art, digital media and technology to explore and interact with Palestine’s sociopolitical scene, focusing on the creation and the use of Palestinian revolutionary iconography. He has a masters’ in animation from Bournemouth University.

Amer Shomali

Amer Shomali

Amer Shomali is a Palestinian practitioner using art, Digital media and technology as tools to explore and interact with the sociopolitical scene in Palestine focusing on the creation and the use of the Palestinian revolution iconography. He holds a master’s degree in animation from the Arts University Bournemouth in the United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Birzeit University, Palestine. He was born in Kuwait in 1981, and is currently based in Ramallah, Palestine.

Cast and Crew

Director
Amer Shomali, Paul Cowan
Production Company
Intuitive Pictures, National Film Board of Canada, Bellota Films, Dar Films
Sales Contact
Intuitive Pictures
Music
Benoît Charest
Producer
Saed Andoni, Ina Fichman, Dominique Barneaud, Nathalie Cloutier
Screenwriter
Paul Cowan
Editor
Aube Foglia
Cinematographer
Daniel Villeneuve, Germán Gutièrrez
Sound
Daniel Fontaine-Bègin, Sylvain Bellemare
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