THE LAST DAYS OF YASSER ARAFAT (Sherine Salama, Australia). 77 minutes. Tuesday (April 24), 7:15 pm, Innis Town Hall; April 27, 2:30 pm, ROM. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
After dreaming that Yasser Arafat's death was imminent, Palestinian-born filmmaker Sherine Salama began a tenacious chase to film an interview with the elusive 74-year-old Palestinian president. A year later, halfway into the film's narrative, she captures a five-minute interview with the ailing leader that turns out to be his last.
The rest of the film is dedicated to the mystery shrouding Arafat's death in France and the colossal outcry of grief for the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Nobel Peace Prize co-recipient when his body is returned to Palestine. Creating real poignancy, Salama captures the tight organization surrounding Arafat with well-honed camera skills, and her storytelling is right on the money.