Radiance of resistance film screening promotes activism through art


Sydney Laxson

Radiance of Resistance poster hung up in junior hall.

This Monday, May 7, award winning documentary film “Radiance of Resistance” will be screened in the Lincoln Auditorium. Directed by Jesse Roberts of the non-profit Rise Up International, the film invites the audience into the daily experiences of Janna (9), Ahed (14), and their families living in occupied Palestinian territory. Radiance has been playing at international film festivals since 2016 and won Best Documentary Feature at the Respect Human Rights Festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Sophomore Tasneem Sarkez, president of the LHS Arab Student Union and Multnomah Youth commissioner, has been working with the Arab Student Union and several language and social studies teachers since the beginning of this year to coordinate the event. She will also facilitate a panel discussion after the film on Monday with members of the broader Portland community.


Iman Ahmad, a freshman and Arabic student, agrees: “I think this film could be the start of a conversation at Lincoln that we need.”


The film, although set in what many human rights advocates around the world refer to as an apartheid regime, does not center around the treaties, declarations and opinions of (adult) leaders and government officials. Rather, it shifts the narrative to the children who have inherited the consequences of the conflict. It is this humbling exploration of the power of art and young voices that Sara Matano, a social studies teacher at Lincoln and friend of Roberts, finds so compelling.


“These girls’ lives teach us so much not only about the lived experience of those in Palestine, but also of social movements and resistance on a larger scale,” says Matano. “They show us that while problems may appear beyond our ability to control them, the boldness of youth can quite literally revolutionize the world around us. Change is never simply the result of a single action but of a constant daily struggle shared in common, a solidarity of living and acting in daily life.” Matano believes that the film will provide an opportunity for LHS students to experience how a narrative of art and activism can intertwine to increase engagement in social action.