The Mideast Focus Ministry of Saint Mark's Cathedral works through mission, prayer, education, and action to bring understanding and to promote advocacy for justice and peace in the Middle East region, both within the Saint Mark’s congregation and to the greater Seattle community. Contact ministry leaders Doug Thorpe and Steve Moen to learn more.

The Spring 2021 series is now concluded. The next Mideast Focus Film Series is currently being planned for Spring 2022. Please email to learn more or to get involved!

Contact to be added to the Mideast Focus Ministry mailing list, or use this form. (Check the box marked "Mideast Focus.")


Who's at the CHECKPOINT?


The Mideast Focus Ministry presented its eighth series of films focused on the story of the Palestinian people—but with a difference this year. In response to the U.S. apartheid-like parallels to Palestine in our own country, the 2021 series explored the links between the struggle for justice in Palestine to Black Lives Matter and the story of Indigenous people in America.

FEBRUARY 19, 8:30 p.m. (discussion)


This film provides a fascinating look at the life and work of Jewish Israeli lawyer  Lea Tsemel who has represented Palestinian prisoners for nearly 50 years, in Israeli courts.

The film follows Jewish-Israeli human-rights lawyer Lea Tsemel as she navigates through the Israeli judicial system in defense of Palestinian political prisoners. The film includes archival footage of past cases Tsemel was involved in over a five-decade long career; interviews with Tsemel and her family members, including her husband, Michel Warschawski and their daughter and son, as well as interns and associates at Tsemel's law firm; and closely follows two contemporary cases represented by Tsemel and her co-counsel, Tareq Barghout.

Learn more here.

with host: John McKay, Former U.S. Attorney for Western Washington and current President of the King County Bar Association

very special guest: Lea Tsemel, the subject of the film!


MARCH 5, 8:00 p.m. (discussion - note new time)


American, Israeli, and Palestinian musicians record a new album. And, in defiance of Israel's dark realities, start a new program for children living under occupation.

Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza sets out to realize his dream of cooperation and dialog between Israelis and Palestinians through music. During 8 days and nights of joint creation by his mixed Jewish and Muslim band in an East Jerusalem studio, a hopeful message of equality and unity arises. Featuring Steve Earle and Mira Awad.

Learn more here.

with host: Filmmaker David Wild

very special guest: David Broza, one of the musicians in the film, joining from Israel

MARCH 19, 8:00 p.m. (discussion - note new time)


There is a Field tells the story of Aseel Asleh, a 17-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel killed by police in October 2000. In 2016, Seattle-based author and filmmaker Jen Marlowe created a play about his death and its aftermath, based on primary sources and personal interviews that she collected in Israel and Palestine over the course of 14 years. Then, in 2020, she filmed a cast of African-American actors and Black Lives Matter activists performing the play, and reflecting on the parallels between Aseel's story and their own experiences, and between the systems of oppression affecting Black Americans and Palestinians in Israel.

In October 2000, a police officer shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Asel Asleh. His story is tragically familiar for Americans, but Asel was not killed in Ferguson, New York City, Atlanta, or Minneapolis. Asel was a Palestinian teenager who was murdered by Israeli police as he participated in a demonstration, calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and settler-colonization.

Learn more here.

with special guest: filmmaker Jen Marlowe

APRIL 9, 8 p.m. (discussion)


In this provocative look at strange political bedfellows, Israeli filmmaker Maya Zinshtein (Forever Pure, DOC NYC 2016) investigates the political alliance between American evangelicals and Israel’s right wing, and their influence on the Trump administration’s foreign policy. Why do American church leaders encourage parishioners to make donations to Israel, even from poor communities? Because they believe Israel’s expansion will play a key role in end-times prophecy, when Christians will be saved and others—including Jews—will perish.

with special guests: Rochelle Watson and Jonathan Brenneman, of Friends of Sabeel North America

APRIL 23, 8:00 p.m. (discussion)


Promised Land is an award-winning social justice documentary that follows two tribes in the Pacific Northwest: the Duwamish and the Chinook, as they fight for the restoration of treaty rights they've long been denied. In following their story, the film examines a larger problem in the way that the government and society still looks at tribal sovereignty.

Learn more here.

with host: Former congressman Brian Baird

with special guest: Tony Johnson, Chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation Council

MAY 7, discussion at 7 p.m.


MAYOR follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. Rich with detailed observation and humor, MAYOR offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don’t have a country?

Learn more here.

with hosts: Julia Pitner, Contributing Editor to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and Mary Segall, International Health Consultant

MAY 21, 7 p.m. (discussion)

THE PRESENT, and other shorts

The MEFM is pleased to present the latest film by Fara Nabulsi, whose films were featured in last year's film series. The Present (24 min.) has won many awards, including Best Short Film at the 2021 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards. It was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Short Film (Live Action) category.

On his wedding anniversary, Yusef (Saleh Bakri) and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

The Present can also been seen on Netflix.

You are also invited to watch the following films, available any time on demand:

with special guests: Jennifer Bing, American Friends Service Committee, and Micha Kurz, Co-founder of "Breaking the Silence" and Grassroots Jerusalem


Mideast Focus Ministry Presents:



In February of 2020, the Mideast Focus Film Series launched as planned with a reception, screening, and discussion of Tel Aviv on Fire. Of course, plans then changed. The remainder of the films were presented as online screenings followed by virtual conversations over Zoom. These virtual events were a great success. 


Mideast Focus Ministry Presents:



More about the series:

Mideast Focus Ministry Mission:
This ministry works through prayer, education and action with Saint Mark’s and the greater Seattle community, to educate and promote understanding about the struggle for peace and justice in the Holy Land.

Mideast Focus Film Series Goal:
Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israel’s military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

Why These Films?
As our country presents less than humane greetings for refugees at our border, we want to recommit ourselves to a more conscious, caring and Godly response—to recognize and serve our brothers and sisters who are, for a difficult time, homeless. In this series we explore what it is to be a refugee.