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Irit Reinheimer

Push the Water

Push the Water

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Push the Water is a politically astute memoir built around the moving image. In it, filmmaker and artist, Irit Reinheimer, weaves together descriptions of archival footage, home movies and memories that prompt new recognitions of her Jewish family’s participation in settler-colonialism and the occupation of Palestine. At the center of this investigation is a painful divide between Reinheimer and her mother, who appears in the foreground as the subject. Through this analysis of their relationship, the author seeks to understand her own connection to tradition, culture and inheritance. These dreamy and vulnerable meditations deny a reader the simple unspooling of the films themselves, asking us to consider what’s been hidden from view, as much as what’s been centered.

This is a story about what it means to be claimed by violent forces and what it looks like to refuse that claim, to choose a queer, liberatory belonging instead. Here you’ll find politics rendered as image, image refracted through memory, and memory bisected by love and rage.

Irit Reinheimer is an artist and writer based in Philadelphia. Her writing is influenced by her background in experimental filmmaking, where she has taken a sculptural approach to examining themes of loss and inheritance through shorts films constructed from her late father’s 8mm home movies, archival materials, and new footage. Irit’s films, Young, Jewish and Left, How the Bridge Works, I Told Her This Was Home, and Of Origin, have screened nationally and internationally. Push the Water is her first book and one of several pieces she worked on as a student at the Image Text MFA program at Ithaca College. Beyond her artistic practices, Irit has worked for over a decade in communications for community-based projects and organizations focused on social change. She is also a long-time member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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