Hip hop is global and its beats comes in different languages on the big screen.
The politics of hip hop will be on display this weekend as the Arab-American Film Festival comes to an end.
The festival will screen more than 70 feature films, documentaries and shorts from Arab and Arab-American filmmakers in Bay Area and Los Angeles theaters until Oct. 28.
New York filmmaker Jackie Salloum’s "Slingshot Hip Hop" will take center stage at the annual Arab Film Festival in Oakland.
"Slingshot Hip Hop" tells the stories of young Palestinians living in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank as they discover hip hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty.
The movie starts with DAM, the first ever Palestinian hip hop group, from their early, awkward recording attempts in an Israeli studio to fiery, sold-out shows in Europe.
The film explores their politicization with the outbreak of the second Intifada, their transition to community spokesmen and their years-long struggle to produce an album in spite of crushing poverty.
The film's producers bill it, as "from internal checkpoints and the separation wall to gender discrimination and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that confine them."
DAM will be performing a concert after the first Oakland screening Friday night at 7 p.m. The concert is the result of collaboration between Bay Area African-American and Arab-American organizations.
Salloum draws on her Palestinian and Syrian roots in her work.
The filmmaker's pop-infused work focuses on challenging the stereotypes of Arabs in the media.
In took Salloum five years to make "Slingshot Hip Hop," her first feature-length documentary and made it’s premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival-Documentary Competition.