Newstalk’s Shona Murray to Host Apples of the Golan Screening at IFI

Posted January 9, 2015 by Conor McDevitt in News
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Newstalk’s Foreign Affairs correspondent Shona Murray will host a special screening of APPLES OF THE GOLAN at the Irish Film Institute on the 16th of January at 6:30pm. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Keith Walsh and Jill Beardsworth conducted by Murray. Tickets for the event are now on sale at the IFI  box office and on their website.

Shona Murray is Newstalk’s Foreign Affairs correspondent, chronicling the world’s most important stories. Shona regularly reports from the Middle East and has documented the plight of Syrian refugees at Syria’s borders with Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, since the conflict began. In November 2013, she revisited Lebanon documenting the ever expanding Syrian conflict as well as the worsening refugee crisis there. Earlier in October 2013, she reported on the rise of jihadist and Islamist armed groups armed groups in Northern Syria, documenting testimonies from various actors including opposition rebel groups from the area. Shona has reported on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict for the last 8 years, returning at least once a year to the region including the Gaza strip.

APPLES OF THE GOLAN tells the epic story of Majdal Shams, one of five remaining Arab villages in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Before the occupation there were 136 such villages, which have now mostly been destroyed. Cut off from their homeland since the events of the Six Day War, the villagers fight to maintain their national identity amid political uncertainty, border disputes and the Syrian Civil War. They are all connected to, and owe their existence to, the apples which grow all around the village. In many ways, as their resistance to occupation is generally peaceful, the apples are their bombs.

Irish film-makers Keith Walsh and Jill Beardsworth spent five years among the people of the village and have woven together, from the interlocking lives of the apple growers, rappers, salsa dancers, holy men, traitors, and freedom fighters that make up this unique community, a film that is a complex portrait of a place, a people, and the apple trees that root them to land. APPLES OF THE GOLAN covers the four year period up until the Syrian conflict begins to turn into civil war, as the effects are being felt in the Golan Heights. It is a portrait of a village’s survival but also documents the beginning of its journey into the unknown.

APPLES OF THE GOLAN opens exclusively in the IFI on the 16th of January.