Film About Palestinian Hunger Striker al-Qiq to Be Screened at Cannes Festival

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Palestinian journalist Mohammad al-Qiq, on hunger strike in Emek Medical Center in Afula.
Palestinian journalist Mohammad al-Qiq, on hunger strike in Emek Medical Center in Afula. Credit: AP

A film about Mohammed al-Qiq, the Palestinian hunger striker who has been held in Israeli detention without trial on suspicion of being involved in Hamas terrorist activity, will be among the short films featured at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The 11-minute film, called "Al-Qeeq," is a dramatic depiction of al-Qiq's experience on hunger strike in Israeli detention. The film is and directed by Palestinian Nawras Abu Saleh and produced by his Amman-based Nawras Media company.

In the film, Abu Saleh plays al-Qiq and actor Ahmad al-Omary plays an Israeli investigator, according to an Iranian-based website, anba24, which said the film depicts the relationship between the prisoner and the Israeli.

Late last month, after 93 days, al-Qiq, a journalist from Ramallah, ended the hunger strike that he launched in protest at his detention without trial. He was arrested by Israeli security forces on November 21 in connection with alleged involvement in terror activities linked to Hamas. The agreement that ended the strike stipulates that the prisoner, who has been hospitalized in the northern Israeli city of Afula, will be released from detention on May 21, a month less than originally ordered.

Another of Abu Saleh's films, "Oversized Coat," which examines Palestinian life between 1987 and 2011, was shown publicly last month in the Gaza Strip following the resumption of public movie showings after a hiatus of 20 years. Political tensions led to the torching of cinemas in the enclave, now ruled by Hamas, and the end of public showing of films. Hollywood blockbusters have yet to return and Hamas Islamists still remain alert to anything they consider immodest.

With reporting by Reuters.

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