45th Parallel

Lawrence Abu Hamdan / / 2022

Danish-Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel performs a monologue somewhere between Canada and the US in a performative essay film about borders, impunity and the absurdity of law.

A thick black line runs through a building in the borderland between Canada and the United States. The building is the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, which straddles the jurisdictions of the two countries. The line divides the library collections in two and forms the basis of the only theatre in the world, where the audience and the actors are located in two different nations. Between the bookshelves and the opera house stage, Danish-Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel tells of entanglements and crimes on the border: from arms smuggling to murder and drone attacks on innocent civilians. Jordanian artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s latest work ’45th Parallel’ is an urgent and performative reality check on permeable borders and absurd legislation.