IDFA Special: Foragers

Film screening + special dinner

With an almost playful approach, Foragers exposes the intricate ways Israel abuses ecological laws to prevent Palestinians from gathering wild foods that have been essential to their cuisine for centuries. The special screening at De Balie will offer 40 lucky viewers an immersive experience – a dinner inspired by meals featured in the film, served in the cinema auditorium during the screening.

Palestinians have been picking za’atar and akoub in the wilderness for centuries. These two plants (wild oregano and a thistle that tastes like artichoke) are a staple of traditional cuisine. That’s why they insist on their right to wild harvest, despite wild-picking bans and Draconian fines.

In this hybrid documentary with several fictional sequences, Jumana Manna exposes the complicated system of discrimination but manages to maintain a level of delicate humor and warmth, despite the fact that her closest family members are directly affected. It is also grown almost exclusively by Jewish landowners, as Arabs own smaller tracts of land, making crop insurance unaffordable for them.

The dinner and screening are followed by a conversation, where the practices mentioned serve as an introduction to the broader topic of commodification – how capitalism seeks to cultivate everything from wild plants to our free time.

Chef Dennis’ menu:

Maftoul (seasoned with za’atar) served with artichoke hearts, grilled eggplant, roasted tomatoes & thyme-oil.