Films connect cultures

A local Waradjuri man is in negotiations with organisers of the Palestinian Film Festival to add Dubbo to its list of national destinations.

Frank Doolan recently attended the opening of the festival in Sydney and was deeply touched by the films he watched, so much so, he wanted to see the festival extend it's reach to the Central West.

Mr Doolan admitted the initial thought of a Palestinian Film Festival conjured up thoughts of terrorism.

He said he put that down to being a product of "the media's slant on the Middle East".

Describing the films as enlightening, Mr Doolan said it opened his eyes to something he hadn't seen before and made him see the Palestinians differently.

"Palestinian people live under occupation and in the most contested city on the planet, and in reality they are people just like us," he said.

Despite his initial preconceptions, he found the same topics arose in the Palestinian films as they did in Western films.

"The Palestinians are just as interested in love and life and family as we are, they just talk about it in a different way," he said.

Mr Doolan said after watching the films and having had time to process the themes, he was left wondering why more Australians didn't understand the plight of the Palestinians.

"I like to think Australia has a reasonable enough record with human rights and I'm hoping the issues raised by the Palestinians will be ignited," he said.

"Most people just say it's a very complicated situation over there, which is a fair enough comment in itself, but to me there's nothing too complicated about human rights - or the denial of them - and that's what's going down in Palestine."

He said the "tired old excuse" that what was happening was biblical didn't wash.

"I would remind the same people who have said that to me that there are also messages from Jesus Christ himself in the bible saying blessed are the peacemakers and turn the other cheek."

Mr Doolan believes that the city of Dubbo is a progressive and tolerant town.

"I've looked at what Mr Fletcher has done with the refugees at his place of employment and I look at the opportunities in the central west," he said.

"The sun seems to shine a bit brighter out here and the birds sing a bit sweeter, and I wonder if there are any possibilities for my Palestinian brothers and sisters who qualify as refugees, to come to this part of the world, and if there is I want to say from a personal view point and as a Waradjuri man, you're welcome."

lisa.minner@ruralpress.com

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