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Written and directed by the talented Jessica Habie, this surreal and witty story of self-liberation, self-preservation and resistance through creation provides us with a unique look into the mind of a Palestinian artist. Khaled is arrested and tortured for days, locked inside a miniscule cell from which learns to escape with his imagination. The message; a mind cannot be imprisoned, but it can be harnessed and manipulated in defeat. Mars at Sunrise is poignant and bold in its statements. ‘All the artists in Ramallah suck, you all hold onto the **** of patriotism’, says the Israeli soldier during another torture session. Not an unfair comment – due to its struggles and occupations the Arab world has stalled its artistic and creative development on a mass level – something which has temporarily inhibited a certain evolution in Arab identity in the modern era. Despite the surreal element, Mars at Sunrise is believable, touching and relatable. A must-watch particularly for art lovers and those interested in an occupation’s effect on artistic consciousness.

5/5

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