Three -part film series wraps up May 7 at St. Eustace Church in Lake Placid

May 3—LAKE PLACID — On Tuesday, May 7, a three-part documentary series, "Plants, People, and Apartheid," will conclude at St. Eustace Church in Lake Placid with a free public screening of the 2022 film "Foragers" by internationally renowned visual artist Jumana Manna.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and will culminate in a voluntary, mediated discussion about the film's themes and the current conflict in the Middle East.

"The three-part film series, People, Plants, and Apartheid, has been taking place in Lake Placid throughout the last month, and it finishes up this Tuesday, May 7 with 'Foragers,' and we couldn't be more excited," Tyler Barton, one of the event organizers, said.

"The first two films brought out nearly 100 people in total, and we were able to raise around $1,000 for families trying to evacuate from Gaza. Attendees have been participating in engaging and rewarding discussions after the films. These discussions are a space where people can reflect on the films and connect what is learned about Palestinian life, culture, and history to the current conflict in the Middle East. It's been heartwarming, but we hope this final film in the series, 'Foragers' will draw the biggest crowd yet."

As with the first ("My Tree") and second ("Flying Paper") parts of the film series, donations will be collected to support families attempting to evacuate the active warzone in Gaza. Nearly a $1,000 has been raised through the series so far, and the organizers hope to up the total with the third and final film, according to a press release.

"Foragers"—which is not available in theatres or on streaming but has been shown at countless film festivals all across the world, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art and Ohio State University's prestigious Wexner Center for the Arts—depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine/Israel with wry humor and a meditative pace. As the screening is a fundraiser, the organizers have been given permission by filmmaker Jumana Manna to show "Foragers" in this one-time exclusive showing.

Shot in the Golan Heights, the Galilee and Jerusalem, the film employs fiction, documentary and archival footage to portray the impact of Israeli nature protection laws on these customs.

The restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like 'akkoub and za'atar (thyme) and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants. For Palestinians, these laws constitute an ecological veil for legislation that further alienates them from their land while Israeli state representatives insist on their scientific expertise and duty to protect.

Following the plants from the wild to the kitchen, from the chases between the foragers and the nature patrol, to courtroom defenses, "Foragers" captures the joy and knowledge embodied in these traditions alongside their resilience to the prohibitive law. By reframing the terms and constraints of preservation, the film raises questions around the politics of extinction, namely who determines what is made extinct and what gets to live on."

For anyone who can't make it to the screening, there will be a free teach-in to serve as an introduction to the history of Palestine, called "What the Olive Trees Know," held at the Saranac Lake Free Library on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m.

More about the organizers:

At the start of 2024, a group of concerned residents of towns across the Adirondacks began gathering weekly at 15 Broadway, Saranac Lake to write and send postcards, letters, and poems to U.S. elected officials urging them to support a ceasefire in Israel's bombardment of Gaza. The weekly effort—PS: Letters for Ceasefire— takes place Mondays, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at 15 Broadway, Saranac Lake. All supplies are provided, and all ages are welcome.

More about the Gazan families we are supporting:

100% of donations collected at these film screenings will support three families attempting to evacuate from and survive day-to-day in Gaza as they work to access visas, travel fare, food, and other necessary supplies. Organizers of this event have personal connections involved with each of these campaigns. — Ayman's Family — Read the GoFundMe: Gaza Evacuation: Help Get Aymans Family to Canada — The Labeeb Family — Read the GoFundMe: Urgent: Help Labeeb family to evacuate from Gaza — The Ramlawi Family — Read the GoFundMe: Evacuate The Ramlawi Family From Gaza


Keep up to date about the series by following the series Instagram (@adkpalfilm) or via the Facebook Event pages. A registration form for all three films (registrants can select which they plan to attend) can be found here: