For all the coverage Palestine gets in the media, its remarkably difficult to get a true sense of what its culture and people are really like. To fight what they call reductively politicized depictions, the folks over at the Houston Palestinian Film Festival have organized a series of flicks centered on Palestine and its diaspora, with offerings ranging from Najwa Najjars Pomegranates and Myrrh, about a dancer in Ramallah who tests both the limits of convention and of her marriage, to Hanna Muslehs Memory of the Cactus, a documentary about the 1967 destruction of Palestinian villages in the West Bank and their displaced populations, to Arafat & I, about an engaged couple and their troubles. Each feature-length film will be accompanied by a short, and several directors are attending the screenings. 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week; Friday and Saturday next week. Rice University, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-4853 or visit www.hpff.org. $7.
Thu., April 23, 7 p.m.; Fri., April 24, 7 p.m.; Sat., April 25, 7 p.m., 2009